Before Dawn, At the Scottish Gate.
Beloved, beloved!—O forgive me
That all these days questioning I have been,
Struggled with doubts. Your power over me,
That here slipt through the nets death caught you in,
Lighted on me so greatly that my heart
Could scarcely carry the amazement. Now
I am awake and seeing; and I come
To save you from this post of ignominy.
A ladder I have filched and thro’ the streets
Borne it, on shoulders little used to weight.
You’ll say that I should not have bruised myself?—
But it is good, and an ease for me, to have
Some ache of body.—Now if there’s any chink
In death, surely my love will reach to thee,
Surely thou wilt be ware of how I go
Henceforth through life utterly thine. And yet
Pardon what now I say, for I must say it.
I cannot thank thee, my dear murder’d lad,
For mastering me so. What other girls
Might say in blessing on their sweethearts’ heads,
How can I say? They are well done to, when
Love of a man their beings like a loom
Seizes, and the loose ends of purposes
Into one beautiful desire weaves.
But love has not so done to me: I was
A nature clean as water from the hills,
One that had pleased the lips of God; and now
Brackish I am, as if some vagrom malice
Had trampled up the springs and made them run
Channelling ancient secrecies of salt.
O me, what, has my tongue these bitter words
In front of my love’s death? Look down, sweetheart,
From the height of thy sacred ignominy
And see my shame. Nay, I will come up to thee
And have my pardon from thy lips, and do
The only good I can to thee, sweetheart.
* * * * *
I have done it: but how have I done it?
And what’s this horrible thing to do with me?
How came it on the ground, here at my feet?
O I had better have shirkt it altogether!
What do I love? Not this; this is only
A message that he left on earth for me,
Signed by his spirit, that he had to go
Upon affairs more worthy than my love.
We women must give place in our men’s thoughts
To matters such as those.
God, God, why must I love him? Why
Must life be all one scope for the hawking wings
Of Love, that none the mischief can escape?—
Well, I am thine for always now, my love,
For this has been our wedding. No one else,
Since thee I have had claspt unto my breast,
May touch me lovingly.—
Light, it is light!
What shall I do with it, now I have got it?
O merciful God, must I handle it
Again? I dare not; what is it to me?
Let me off this! Who is it clutches me
By the neck behind? Who has hold of me
Forcing me stoop down? Love, is it thou?
Spare me this service, thou who hast all else
Of my maimed life: why wilt thou be cruel?
O grip me not so fiercely. Love! Ah no,
I will not: ’tis abominable—