It is Easter morning,
And my beloved, with a quaint belated zeal,
Has fled the city
To hunt for the Garden of Gethsemane.
I woke an hour since,
And sat up in my bed,
Which last year I had the artisans
And drapers fashion as a water-lily.
The pillows are in green chenille,
And the sheets are great wisps of olive satin,
Then comes a warmth of velvet ivy
To crush the cold,
And beneath everything
I lie in cream white.
I sat up the hour since,
And mused for a moment
On the ashes in my hearth,
Wishing they were mauve instead of grey--
Death in mauve would be so much nicer--
And then I performed my usual morning office--
The kissing of shoulders!
I was generous this morning--
I kissed the right shoulder first,
Although I am secretly in love
With the left.
Then it was that I realized
The beloved was seeking
The Garden of Gethsemane,
And I was alone.
I must have a companionless day,
A waste, lonely day indoors,
For manifestly I could not venture forth
Into Fifth Avenue alone.
Today it would be unpleasantly disturbed
With clerks and sempstresses--
To remind one of one's bills--
And well-to-do vulgar folk,
The women frantically eager
To flaunt their bad taste in dress.
I love Fifth Avenue,
But I am a cat,
And so today I could not endure
The alien contacts
At my elbow of the crowds that pass.
Obviously, then, I must remain within.
At first I seemed to have no resources,
But I looked at my bed,
And adored it,
And my wounded self-esteem was soothed.
I bade the discords
Of awkward solitariness
A curt farewell.
It came to me that it was imperative
That I should spend the day
Free of the slavery of thinking.
I have never been forced to think--
It is my ever-living pulsing fear
That I may be brought to it some day.
But how not to think?
How not to spoil the epigram-- She was born to be,
Not to think?
In a caressing whisper
The Avenue unrolled--
I found the marriage of the hours!
For I would write a book,
And furiously scrivening
With the minutes flying past
I should not be degraded to thought;
I should be writing;
Which is a refuge from cerebration.
And I was so joyous
That I bared my shoulders
For a second time,
And kissed them.
This time I was self-indulgent, and approached,
Reverently, the left-shoulder first!