Some days my thoughts are just cocoons- all cold, and dull and blind,
They hang from dripping branches in the grey woods of my mind;
And other days they drift and shine – such free and flying things!
I find the gold-dust in my hair, left by their brushing wings.
The flame of my life burns low
Under the cluttered days,
Like a fire of leaves.
But always a little blue, sweet-smelling smoke
Goes up to God.
I have worn this day as a fretting, ill-made garment,
Impatient to be rid of it.
And lo, as I drew it off over my shoulders
This jewel caught in my hair.
Death, always cruel, Pity’s foe in chief,
Mother who brought forth grief,
Merciless judgment and without appeal!
Since thou alone hast made my heart to feel
This sadness and unweal,
My tongue upbraideth thee without relief.
And now (for I must rid thy name of ruth)
Behoves me speak the truth
Touching thy cruelty and wickedness:
Not that they be not known; but ne’ertheless
I would give hate more stress
With them that feed on love in very sooth.
Out of this world thou hast driven courtesy,
And virtue, dearly prized in womanhood;
And out of youth’s gay mood
The lovely lightness is quite gone through thee.
Whom now I mourn, no man shall learn from me
Save by the measure of these praises given.
Whoso deserves not Heaven
May never hope to have her company.
Love and the gentle heart are one thing,
just as the poet says in his verse,
each from the other one as well divorced
as reason from the mind’s reasoning.
Nature craves love, and then creates love king,
and makes the heart a palace where he’ll stay,
perhaps a shorter or a longer day,
breathing quietly, gently slumbering.
Then beauty in a virtuous woman’s face
makes the eyes yearn, and strikes the heart,
so that the eyes’ desire’s reborn again,
and often, rooting there with longing, stays,
Till love, at last, out of its dreaming starts.
Woman’s moved likewise by a virtuous man.