“I too was wounded: shameful runs the song.
She nursed me through that melancholy long
Month of despair: she won my life from death.
Ah God! she won that most reluctant breath
Out of corruption: love! ah! love is strong!
What waters quench it? King Shalomeh saith.” [via]
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- “‘Resolve all question by a moonward tread. Follow the moon!’ Even so the king had said. My thought had thanked him for the generous breath Wherewith he warned us: for delay were death. And now, too late! no moon is overhead– Some other meaning in the words he saith? Or, am I tricked in such a little snare?”
- “He gladdened then. I would not slip again, And baulk the death of half its shame and pain. I, his best sword, must fall, in earnest fight. The old despair was coward–he was right. Now, king, I pay your debt. A purple stain Hides his laced throat–I sober at the sight.”
- “The king did start, Gripped my strong hands, and held me to his heart, And could not speak a moment. Then he set A curb of sorrow and subdued its dart. ‘Go! and the blessing of high God attend Thy path, and lead thee to the doubtful end. No tongue that secret ever may reveal. Thy soul is god-like and thy frame is steel; Thou mayst win the quest–the king, thy friend, Gives thee his sword to keep thee–Gereth, kneel! ‘I dub thee Earl; arise!’ And then there rings The queen’s voice: ‘Shall my love not match the king’s? Here, from my finger drawn, this gem of power Shall guard thee in some unimagined hour. It hath strange virtue over mortal things. I freely give it for thy stirrup’s dower.’ I left the presence. Now the buffeting wind Gladdens my face–I leave the court behind. Am I Stark mad? My face grows grim and grave; I see–O Mary Mother, speak and save! I stare and stare until mine eyes are blind– There was no jewel in the ring she gave!”
- “Then, one immaculate divinest whole, Plunge, fire, within all fire, dive far to death; Till, like king Satan’s sympathetic breath, Burn on us as a voice from far above Strange nameless elements of fire and love; And we, one mouth to kiss, one soul to lure, For ever, wedded, one, divine, endure Far from sun, sea, and spring from love or light, Imbedded in impenetrable night; Deeper than ocean, higher than the sky, Vaster than petty loves that dream and die, Insatiate, angry, terrible for lust, Who shrivel God to adamantine dust By our fierce gaze upon him, who would strive Under our wrath, to flee away, to dive Into the deep recesses of his heaven.”
- “Rise, Phantom disanointed, and proclaim Thine own destruction, and the sleepy death Of those material essences that flame A little moment for a little breath, The love that perisheth!”