THE LITTLE GHOST WHO DIED FOR LOVE
As bunches of the dew-drenched leaves
In the calm moonlight....it is the cold sends quivering
My voice, a little nightingale that grieves.
The spirit too is dead and dank and rotten,
And I forget the moment when I ran
Between my lover and the sworded man,
Blinded with terror lest I lose his heart.
The sworded man dropped, and I saw depart
Love and my lover and my life...he fled,
And I was strung and hung upon the tree.
And drops through time...night is too dark to see
Him still...But it is spring: upon the fruit boughs of your lips,
Young maids, the dew like India's splendour drips.
Pass by among the strawberry beds, and pluck the berries
Cooled by the silver moon: pluck boughs of cherries
That seem the lovely Lucent coral bough
(From streams of starry milk those branches grow)
That Cassiopeia feeds with her faint light,
Like Ethiopia ever jewelled bright.
Deep in their hearts the silver snows,
And the small budding flowers upon the trees
Are filled with sweetness like the bags of bees.
Creep down the strawberry paths and seek the lost
World, the apothecary at the Fair.
I, Deborah, in my long cloak of brown,
Like the small nightingale that dances down
The cherried boughs, creep to the doctor's bare
Booth....cold as ivy in the air,
And, where I stand, the brown and ragged light
Holds something still beyond, hid from my sight.
Had wintry white quills....'Hearken to the dead...
I was a nightingale, but now I croak
Like some dark harpy, hidden in night's cloak,
Upon the walls: among the Dead, am quick.
Oh give me medicine, for the world is sick:
Not medicines planet-spotted like fritillaries
For country sins and old stupidities,
Nor potions you may give a country maid
When she is lovesick...Love in earth is laid,
Grown dead and rotten'...so I sank me down,
Poor Deborah in my long cloak of brown.
Shall bury my dark voice, yet still it mourns
Among the ruins, for it is not I
But this old world, is sick and soon must die!