William Vaughn Moody
The Quarry Poem by William Vaughn Moody
Between the rice swamps and the fields of tea
I met a sacred elephant, snow-white.
Upon his back a huge pagoda towered
Full of brass gods and food of sacrifice.
Upon his forehead sat a golden throne,
The massy metal twisted into shapes
Grotesque, antediluvian, such as move
In myth or have their broken images
Sealed in the stony middle of the hills.
A peacock spread his thousand dyes to screen
The yellow sunlight from the head of one
Who sat upon the throne, clad stiff with gems,
Heirlooms of dynasties of buried kings,--
Himself the likeness of a buried king,
With frozen gesture and unfocused eyes.
The trappings of the beast were over-scrawled
With broideries--sea-shapes and flying things,
Fan-trees and dwarfed nodosities of pine,
Mixed with old alphabets, and faded lore
Fallen from ecstatic mouths before the Flood,
Or gathered by the daughters when they walked
Eastward in Eden with the Sons of God
Whom love and the deep moon made garrulous
Between the carven tusks his trunk hung dead;
Blind as the eyes of pearl in Buddha's brow
His beaded eyes stared thwart upon the road;
And feebler than the doting knees of eid,
His joints, of size to swing the builder's crane
Across the war-walls of the Anakim,
Made vain and shaken haste. Good need was his
To hasten: panting, foaming, on the slot
Came many brutes of prey, their several hates
Laid by until the sharing of the spoil.
Just as they gathered stomach for the leap,
The sun was darkened, and wide-balanced wings
Beat downward on the trade-wind from the sea.
A wheel of shadow sped along the fields
And o'er the dreaming cities. Suddenly
My heart misgave me, and I cried aloud,
"Alas! What dost thou here? What dost thou here? "
The great beasts and the little halted sharp,
Eyed the grand circler, doubting his intent.
Straightway the wind flawed and he came about,
Stooping to take the vanward of the pack;
Then turned, between the chasers and the chased,
Crying a word I could not understand,--
But stiller-tongued, with eyes somewhat askance,
They settled to the slot and disappeared.
William Vaughn Moody's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (The Quarry by William Vaughn Moody )
Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
A Dream Within A Dream
Edgar Allan Poe
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1709 - 1784)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
Ralph Waldo Emerson
(1803 - 1882)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)
- The Vanity of Human Wishes (excerpts), Samuel Johnson
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- Caged Bird, Maya Angelou
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas