The Silence of Columbine


Had I not been told,
    I could not have believed it!
To hold and fold and mould
Your body’s plastic gold!
So rapturously bold
    No poet had conceived it;
And yet, bright Yniold,
    I seem to have achieved it!


Nor word was ours, nor sight;
    But in the dusk there sported
Some sprite of light and might
That pushed our fingers’ flight
To the same goal, delight,
    On pinions unsupported.
One touch—the world went right,
    Its destiny distorted!


Still no word of this
    Though now we surely knew
How miss the abyss of bliss,
When all the ambergris {112}
Of your long hairs that hiss
    Drew me so subtly to it?
We stole one lightning kiss
    With only God to view it.


Hush! Across the stair.
    How its creak is thunder!
Now care! now dare! be ware!
Or—saved! at last I’m there,
Drowned in your torrent hair,
    A flame, a waif, a wonder.
A lioness in her lair
    Your body leaps from under.


Take the prize on trust!
    Dare the course and run it!—
Sweet knight, you win the just,—
Your thrust! a gust of lust!—
Ah, God, then, if you must—
    Wordless still, we’ve won it!
Tall Troy is in the dust!
    We’ve done it, done it, done it!


Do you love me, dear?
    Said the glance you darted.
Good cheer! why fear the year!
Twice one is two, I hear! {113}
I am the hound, sweet seer!
    And you the hare I started.
Shall I escape a tear,
    And you go broken-hearted?


Kiss me! no one sees.
    There—good-bye the last time!
Now, please! Luck’s ease is threes.
What a kiss! what a squeeze!
Dot the i’s! cross the t’s!
    Half a day’s a vast time!
Tragedies, Comedies, Pantomime and pastime!

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