Valentine – Elinor Morton Wylie

Too high, too high to pluck 
My heart shall swing. 
A fruit no bee shall suck, 
No wasp shall sting.

If on some night of cold 
It falls to the ground 
In apple-leaves of gold 
I’ll wrap it around.

And I shall seal it up 
With spice and salt, 
In a carven silver cup, 
In a deep vault.

Before my eyes are blind 
And my lips mute, 
I must eat core and rind 
Of that same fruit.

Before my heart is dust 
By the end of all, 
Eat it I must, I must 
Were it bitter gall.

But I shall keep it sweet 
By some strange art; 
Wild honey, I shall eat 
When I eat my heart.

O honey cool and chaste 
As clover’s breath! 
Sweet Heaven I shall taste 
Before my death. 

Winter Sleep – Elinor Morton Wylie

When against earth a wooden heel
Clicks as loud as stone on steel,
When stone turns flour instead of flakes,
And frost bakes clay as fire bakes,
When the hard-bitten fields at last
Crack like iron flawed in the cast,
When the world is wicked and cross and old,
I long to be quit of the cruel cold.

Little birds like bubbles of glass
Fly to other Americas,
Birds as bright as sparkles of wine
Fly in the nite to the Argentine,
Birds of azure and flame-birds go
To the tropical Gulf of Mexico:
They chase the sun, they follow the heat,
It is sweet in their bones, O sweet, sweet, sweet!
It’s not with them that I’d love to be,
But under the roots of the balsam tree.

Just as the spiniest chestnut-burr
Is lined within with the finest fur,
So the stoney-walled, snow-roofed house
Of every squirrel and mole and mouse
Is lined with thistledown, sea-gull’s feather,
Velvet mullein-leaf, heaped together
With balsam and juniper, dry and curled,
Sweeter than anything else in the world.

O what a warm and darksome nest
Where the wildest things are hidden to rest!
It’s there that I’d love to lie and sleep,
Soft, soft, soft, and deep, deep, deep!