Poets' Corner Home Page
[Transcribed for Poets' Corner
May 2005 S.L. Spanoudis]
[Please note, with a publication date of 1922 this work is believed
to be out of copyright in the United States and is therefore considered
in the public domain in the US. Please check restrictions on use in
your own geography.]
POEMS BY MURIEL STUART
4 of 4)
- Between two common days this day was hung
- When Love went to the ending that was his;
- His seamless robe was rent, his bow was wrong,
- He took at last the sponge's bitter kiss.
- A simple day the dawn has watched unfold
- Before the night had borne the death of love;
- You took the bread I blessed, and love was sold
- Upon your lips, and paid the price thereof.
- I changed then, as when soul from body slips,
- And casts its passion and its pain aside;
- I pledged you with most spiritual lips,
- And gave you hands that you had crucified.
- You who betrayed, kissed, crucified, forgot,
- You walked with Christ, poor fool, and knew it not!
FOR FASTING DAYS.
- Are you my songs, importunate of praise?
- Be still, remember for your comforting
- That sweeter birds have had less leave to sing
- Before men piped them from their lonely ways.
- Greener leaves than yours are lost in every spring
- Rubies far redder thrust your eager rays
- Into the blindfold dark for many days
- Before men chose them for a finger-ring.
- Sing as you dare, not as men choose, receive not
- The passing fashion's prize, for dole or due-
- Men's summer-sweet unrecognition-grieve not:
- Oh, stoop not to them! Better far that you
- Should go unsung than sing as you believe not,
- Should go uncrowned than to yourselves untrue.
- The evening found us whom the day had fled,
- Once more in bitter anger, you and I,
- Over some small, some foolish, trivial thing
- Our anger would not decently let die,
- But dragged between us, shamed and shivering
- Until each other's taunts we scarcely heard,
- Until we lost the sense of all we said,
- And knew not who first spoke the fatal word.
- It seemed that even every kiss we wrung
- We killed at birth with shuddering and hate,
- As if we feared a thing too passionate.
- However close we clung
- One hour, the next hour found us separate,
- Estranged, and Love most bitter on our tongue.
- To-night we quarrelled over one small head,
- Our fruit of last year's maying, the white bud
- Blown from our stormy kisses and the dead
- First rapture of our wild, estranging blood.
- You clutched him: there was panther in your eyes,
- We breathed like beasts in thickets; on the wall
- Our shadows swelled as in huge tyrannies,
- The room grew dark with anger, yet through all
- The shame and hurt and pity of it you were
- Still strangely and imperishably dear,
- As one who loves the wild day none the less
- That turns to naught the lilac's miracle,
- Breaking the unrecapturable spell
- Of the first may-tree, magic and mystery
- Utterly scattering of earth and sky.
- Making even the rose's loveliness
- A thing for pain to be remembered by.
- I said: "My son shall wear his father's sword."
- You said: "Shall hands once blossoms at my breast
- Be stained with blood?" I answered with a word
- More bitter, and your own, the bitterest
- Stung me to sullen anger, and I said:
- "My son shall be no coward of his line
- Because his mother choose"; you turned your head,
- And your eyes grew implacable on mine.
- And like a trodden snake you turned to meet
- The foe with sudden hissing ... then you smiled
- And broke our life in pieces at my feet,
- "Your child?" you said: "Your child?" . . .