Suave body of the Queen, she gave me you,
Misting in still, warm rains of tenderness--
But kept herself, and we are each betrayed.
You are her mistress, and she makes of me
Another mistress! Playthings are we both,
When we thought she meant us for full sovereignty;
It was not regal, and her throne is stained.
She bade you seek me, and your singing feet
Ran quickly, surely; you held out your hands.
You had no fear because you felt my heart
Leap as you laid your white breast under it.
We had no prides to conquer as we kissed,
For we knew kinship in our overthrow.
Yet now she stands apart and questions us.
How can she question--leave me out of it--
But you, her body, her sweet source of joy--
How can she then divide herself from you,
And calmly reckon what the gain may be?
The hour will come when she will tire of us,
And all your softness will be broken up,
Your rioting lips chilled with an ashen wind.
There is a hint of vileness in the air,
And on the strings a dance of ironies,
With love's scarecrow jigging wearily ...
Still I have you--so I am not afraid!
II. Valley of Desire
Your hat was of an angle, and the veil
Was impudent with seven maddening spots--
With the mouth left free to drink the cool sunlight,
That amber-laden swept the afternoon.
Your gown caressed you, and your level gaze
Fed on the greenness of the cleaning Spring--
Peacocks and yew trees mirrored from your eyes.
I walked beside you, and my hands were glad--
They ran the lines that weave your body-spell.
"Why not tonight?" I asked, and then you smiled,
Half-flattered by my wish, but with wide wings
You gave unyielding answer, "You forget
You had my lips only four days ago;
We waited two more." And there was in your tone
Urbanity that showed a steady pulse.
I was not rebuked--you paid acknowledgment
For the fluttered voice that broke with stressed desire;
Still, this was no hour for the faggot-fire.
Miracle woman, you were far astray--
Your mouth is wine, and all your tender flesh
An easeful meadow for my weariness,
But it was not flame I asked for. It was talk,
The winding minutes of great friendliness,
And the immense companioning of you,
Keen, vivid, rich, warming, and wholly sweet.
I have waited twenty years to talk to you,
And all that empty time I have searched for you.
Now that I have found you shall I wait six days,
And fill the interval with other things?
There is nothing else--the world's dropped away.
For twenty years I have slept upon your breast--
You did not know me, but you felt me there!