Am I so hardly done to, who have seen
My lover’s face, been near enough to worship
The very writing of his spirit in flesh?
For having that in my ken, I am not far
From loving with my eyes all his body.
What a set would his shoulders have, and neck,
To bear his goodly-purposed head; what gait
And usage of his limbs!—Ah, do you smile?
Why, even so I knew your smile would be,
Just such an over-brimming of your soul.
O love, love, love, then you have come to me!
How I have stayed aching for you! Come close,
Here’s where you should have been long time, long time.
It is your rightful place. And I had left
Thinking you’ld come and kiss me over my heart!
Ah lad, my lad, they told me you were dead.
At Dawn. The Scottish Gate.
Mary (on her way to the gate, singing to herself).
As a wind that has run all day
Among the fragrant clover,
At evening to a valley comes;
So comes to me my lover.
And as all night a honey’d warmth
Stays where the wind did lie,
So when my lover leaves my arms
My heart’s all honey.
But what have I to do with this? And when
Was that song put in hiding ’mid my thought?
I might be on my way to meet and give
Good morrow to my—Ah! last night, last night!
O fie! I must not dream so.
[At the Gate.
It was I!
I am the girl whose lover they have killed, Who never saw him until out of death He lookt into my soul. I was to meet
Somewhere in life my lover, and behold,
He has turned into an inn I dare not enter, And gazes through a window at my soul Going on labour’d with this loving body.— Did I not sleep last night with you in my arms? I could have sworn it. Why should body have
So large a part in love? For if ’twere only
Spirit knew how to love, an easy road
My feet had down to death. But I must want
Lips against mine, and arms marrying me,
And breast to kiss with its dear warmth my breast,—
Body must love! O me, how it must ache
Before it is as numb as thine, dear boy!
Poor darling, didst thou forget that I was made To wed thee, body and soul? For surely else Thou hadst not gone from life.—
Ah, folk already,
Coming to curse the light with all their stares.
KATRINA and JEAN.
Katrina. Where are you off to, Jean, in such a tear?
Jean. I’m busy.
O you light-skirts! who is it now?
You think I can’t guess what your business is? Is it aught fresh, or only old stuff warmed?
Jean. Does not the smartness in your wits, Katrina, Make your food smack sourly?—Well, this time, It’s serious with me. I believe I’m caught.