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Gangelin, Paul; Dummer, Frances; Commons, Rachel (ed.) / The Wisconsin literary magazine
Volume XX, Number 7 (April 1921)

Schwinn, Walter K.
A cup of coffee,   pp. 184-192

Cook, Mabel L.
Blackberries,   p. 192

Emmerling, Margaret
Sappho,   pp. 192-iii

Page 192

paper bag from the counter, fished a stub of a pencil
from the drawer, and scribbled a short note.
"Thanks for your coffee, etc."
He pondered. Should he say more? Quickly he
decided against it, looked again at the sleeping figure,
and propped the note beside the coffee urn.
Out on the street, in the gray of early morning, all
was quiet and still. The snow lay in an unending
A sunny morn, a trim-clad maid,
A huckster peddling fruit without;
A call, a nod, fair money paid,
And busy movements round about.
And heavy silver gleaming bright,
And tinkling glass reflecting light,
Low voices answering here and there,
And dainty maids beyond compare,-
And blackberries for tea!
smooth white stretch across the little town and into
the fields beyond. Here and there a few chimneys
sent forth spirals of smoke. In the bank office a single
globe still burned dimly near the vault.
It must be nearly time for the mail, thought the
stranger, and as he stepped out, came a long whistle
and a white puff of smoke from the curve a half-mile
off. The stranger set out at a dog trot towards the
tracks. If he hurried, he could make it.
A sunny morn, a gladd'ning breeze,
Deep woods, a trail, dense underbrush,
Soft rifts of light among the trees
Long, naked thorns that prod and push,
And bushes laden thick with fruit,
And hidden herbs 'mid trailing root;
The soft hum of the bees above,
And robin's warbling note of love,-
And blackberries for tea!
Gray was the temple of marble and gray the hill
whereon it stood. Gray was the sea that wept below.
For the rains beat upon the broken pillars, swept
through their wide open spaces, lashed the cedar trees,
and mingled with the waters of the ocean. No gods
were there.
Moving slowly through the mists came a woman,
old and gnarled like the twisted cedars, with bunches
of wet, dark hair clinging about her yellow neck and
falling limply upon her little shoulders. She was
shrivelled like a seed in spring, and the rain hurt her.
She moved, hesitating, to the temple's lowest step;
there she paused, and looking about her at the rain and
the gloomy, deserted temple, shuddered. A dirge was
whispered in the trees. Cowering, the woman ap-
proached a cedar tree and pressed her bony hand upon
its side. Quickly she withdrew it and turned back to
the temple. She glanced at the moody sea, but fled
from its image.
Crafty determination shown in her deep, shadowed
eyes now as she stole to the temple's edge, mounted the
steps, and, shivering in the bitter, rain laden wind,
entered within. Headless women of marble, shat-
tered figures of old beauty, were there. At the broken
altar she paused, kneeling. A wasted fragment of hu-
manity, she crouched in deep supplication. But there
was nothing there. Life in the temple was gone.
Later, she stole out into the rain again. She was
very small and shrunken now. She looked at the ter-
rible sea.
"The whispering secret waters shall have me at last.
I am no more. The gods are fled.
"Nothing is left.
"Was I then, only seduction? My songs, torn from
the deep places of my heart, flung wide among hearts
of the world, they are still here.
"Then that is all, and I yield to the sea.
"Farewell, gleaming skies and sleeping fields of
Greece, farewell, you young men and women of my
heart, my old, old heart. Farewell."
From the rim of the hill's side the woman plunged
and melted in the storm ridden waters below. And
the wind in the cedars moaned a dirge for the loss of
youth, and -the gray rains lashed the roof and columns
of the broken temple of marble.
April, 1921

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