A WEB of gold is the western sky !
Golden strands of the sun’s bright hair
Caught in the grey clouds everywhere !
Or the tangled skeins of day’s broidery ?
… And now it is that the twilight sings;
Twilight … whose voice is full of tears
Trailing athwart our hopes and fears
The drooping bows of her dusky wings !
In the fading light we dream of death
And closer cling in a long embrace.
O ! pure pale girl with the passionate face
Life strips us naked … but leaves us breath.
But when our bodies lie strange and still
They will bury us swiftly out of sight,
Shut us away from the warm sunlight . . .
How dark the darkness will be and chill !
But ah ! I forgot, we shall not feel
Folded safe in our last deep sleep
Never again to kiss and weep —
While our lips’ rose colour the roses steal.
Dear, never again to know regret.
With its iron hand laid on the leaping heart
Its fingers thrust where the wide wounds smart,
The wounds of memory bleeding yet. . . .
Ah ! but the kisses, the tears — the fleet
Delights — slow sorrows, are life — in vain
To praise white peace when the wine of pain,
Fate’s purple wine, is so fiery sweet !
Think you we should be glad to die
Now . . . when the stars are coming soon
And the daylight pales, and the primrose moon
Is a stemless flower in a silver sky. …
From Opals, 1897.