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Poem by Stephen Vincent Benet

Before an Examination

The little letters dance across the page, 
Flaunt and retire, and trick the tired eyes; 
Sick of the strain, the glaring light, I rise 
Yawning and stretching, full of empty rage 
At the dull maunderings of a long dead sage, 
Fling up the windows, fling aside his lies; 
Choosing to breathe, not stifle and be wise, 
And let the air pour in upon my cage. 

The breeze blows cool and there are stars and stars 
Beyond the dark, soft masses of the elms 
That whisper things in windy tones and light. 
They seem to wheel for dim, celestial wars; 
And I -- I hear the clash of silver helms 
Ring icy-clear from the far deeps of night.

Stephen Vincent Benet

Stephen Vincent Benet's other poems:
  1. The City Revisited
  2. Nightmare Number Three
  3. Rain after a Vaudeville Show
  4. The Congressmen Came out to See Bull Run
  5. The Hemp

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