16 FEBRUARY 1940, Page 18

THE SOUTH CRYSTAL, of afternoon, haze of evening, Cool overlapping

shell of the August night, and the quail, the lost and pleading call of the quail

And the cypress swamp rich with the moving sepia Of slumber and gestation: delicate, white azalea, rhododendron, and laurel, pale In the tightening web of shadow. Louisiana Niggers in their canoe follow the flight of the ducks across the darkening marsh and the wail Of the heron skirting the long bayou. The liveoaks Loosen their mosses through the fringe of light. One instant, held in amber, vesseled and frail The giant Gulf lies open to the summer, The sky sends gulfward from its summer height crystals of afternoon: the lingering trail Of dust falls on the wharf, the haze of evening Falters upon the golden-wristed, bright- bellied longshoremen loading bale upon bale Into the freighters. Trinidad, Havana Move with their cargoes through the August night and the tall boys are leaning over the rail Lazily watching the ships, the westward moving Voyagers on and on and out of sight, smiling as darkness fills the endless sail.