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Soft and stung softly--fairer for a fleck..."
"That's good," Kerry would say softly. "It pleases the elder Holiday.
That's a great poet, I guess." Tom, delighted at an audience, would
ramble through the "Poems and Ballades" until Kerry and Amory knew them
almost as well as he.
Amory took to writing poetry on spring afternoons, in the gardens of the
big estates near Princeton, while swans made effective atmosphere in the
artificial pools, and slow clouds sailed harmoniously above the willows.
May came too soon, and suddenly unable to bear walls, he wandered the
campus at all hours through starlight and rain.
A DAMP SYMBOLIC INTERLUDE
The night mist fell. From the moon it rolled, clustered about the spires
and towers, and then settled below them, so that the dreaming peaks were
still in lofty aspiration toward the sky. Figures that dotted the
day like ants now brushed along as shadowy ghosts, in and out of
the foreground. The Gothic halls and cloisters were infinitely more
mysterious as they loomed suddenly out of the darkness, outlined each by
myriad faint squares of yellow light. Indefinitely from somewhere a bell
boomed the quarter-hour, and Amory, pausing by the sun-dial, stretched
himself out full length on the damp grass. The cool bathed his eyes and
slowed the flight of time--time that had crept so insidiously through
the lazy April afternoons, seemed so intangible in the long spring
twilights. Evening after evening the senior singing had drifted over the
campus in melancholy beauty, and through the shell of his undergraduate
consciousness had broken a deep and reverent devotion to the gray walls
and Gothic peaks and all they symbolized as warehouses of dead ages.
The tower that in view of his window sprang upward, grew into a spire,
yearning higher until its uppermost tip was half invisible against
the morning skies, gave him the first sense of the transiency and
unimportance of the campus figures except as holders of the apostolic
succession. He liked knowing that Gothic architecture, with its upward
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