Put it down! I say; put it down, – here, give it to me, I know
what is in it, you Irish believer in fairies! Here, let me
Once and for all,
Against the corners of the wall!
Do we need philters?
Look at me! Look at me! Then come here.
This fearful thing is pure
That is between us. I want to be sure that nothing drowses it,
Look at me!
This torture and this rapture will endure.
I still can see
How you hastily and abstractedly flung down
To the floor,
Having raked it, arm after arm,
Over your head,
Your lustrous gown ;
And how, before
Its silken susurration had subsided,
We were as close together as it is possible for two people to be.
It was your maid, I think,
Who picked it up in the morning, while we lay
Still abed, exhausted by inexhaustible love ;
I saw her, I saw her through half closed eyes, kneel above it,
And smooth it, with a concerned hand, and a face full of
Not that the dress
Or had suffered harm,
But that you had planned
To walk in it, when you walked ashore ;
And our ship was getting minute by minute, more and more
Close to Tintagel.
There were herbs strown
Over the bed-room floor, alkanet,
Perhaps, and several of the mints, and costmary,
Too, I think ; they were fresh and brash and fragrant, but a man
All names but one. I was not alone in the room.
Even in the morning they were fresh, they had not died,
We had meant to have tied
Some of them into garlands, but we had no time.
They were fragrant even without being touched, there was so
Pressure against them from the passion that beat against that
Enough to wrench its rafters down.
I was late getting down
To the shore. Women there,
With sea-wind slashing their hair into their eyes, were drying
long net and long net and long net.
Heavily on the faithful bulk of Kurneval,
My servant for a long time, leaning,
With footsteps less from weakness than for pleasure in the
green grass, lagging, I came here,
Out of the house, to lie, propped up on pillows, under this
fine tree —
Oak older than I, but still, not being ill, growing,
Granted to feel, I think, barring lightening, year after year, — and
barring the axe —
For a long time yet, the green sap flowing.
© Edna St. Vincent Millay