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About this Poem 

“Fire and Sleet and Candlelight” was published in Nets to Catch the Wind (Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1921).

Fire and Sleet and Candlelight

For this you’ve striven
    Daring, to fail:
Your sky is riven
    Like a tearing veil.

For this, you’ve wasted
    Wings of your youth;
Divined, and tasted
    Bitter springs of truth.

From sand unslakèd
    Twisted strong cords,
And wandered naked
    Among trysted swords.

There’s a word unspoken,
    A knot untied.
Whatever is broken
    The earth may hide.

The road was jagged
    Over sharp stones:
Your body’s too ragged
    To cover your bones.

The wind scatters
    Tears upon dust;
Your soul’s in tatters
    Where the spears thrust.

Your race is ended—
    See, it is run:
Nothing is mended
    Under the sun.

Straight as an arrow
    You fall to a sleep
Not too narrow
    And not too deep.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on May 20, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on May 20, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

Elinor Wylie

Elinor Wylie

Elinor Wylie was born in Somerville, New Jersey, on September 7, 1885. 

by this poet

poem

I always was afraid of Somes's Pond:
Not the little pond, by which the willow stands,
Where laughing boys catch alewives in their hands
In brown, bright shallows; but the one beyond.
There, when the frost makes all the birches burn
Yellow as cow-lilies, and the pale sky shines
Like a

poem

Sleep falls, with limpid drops of rain,
Upon the steep cliffs of the town.
Sleep falls; men are at peace again
While the small drops fall softly down.

The bright drops ring like bells of glass
Thinned by the wind; and lightly blown;
Sleep cannot fall on peaceful grass
So softly

poem
The icicles wreathing
   On trees in festoon
Swing, swayed to our breathing:
   They’re made of the moon.

She’s a pale, waxen taper;
   And these seem to drip
Transparent as paper
   From the flame of her tip.

Molten, smoking a little,
   Into crystal they pass;
Falling, freezing, to brittle
   And delicate