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- IF a leaf rustled, she would start:
- And yet she died a year ago.
- How had so frail a thing the heart
- To journey where she trembled so?
- And do they turn and turn in fright,
- Those little feet, in so much night?
- The light above the poet's head
- Streamed on the page and on the cloth,
- And twice and thrice there buffeted
- On the black pane a white-winged moth:
- 'Twas Annie's soul that beat outside
- And "Open, open, open!" cried:
- "I could not find a way to God;
- There were too many flaming suns
- For signposts, and the fearful road
- Led over wastes where millions
- Of tangled comets hissed and burned --
- I was bewildered and I turned.
- "O, it was easy then! I knew
- Your window and no star beside.
- Look up, and take me back to you!"
- -- He rose and thrust the window wide.
- 'Twas but because his brain was hot
- With rhyming, for he heard her not.
- But poets polishing a phrase
- Show anger over trivial things;
- And as she blundered in the blaze
- Towards him, on ecstatic wings,
- He raised a hand and smote her dead;
- Then wrote That I had died instead!
- Arthur T. Quiller-Couch
Poets' Corner .
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