With faint dry sound
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp’d,break from the trees
I make my shroud but no one knows,
So shimmering fine it is and fair,
With stitches set in even rows.
I make my shroud but no one knows.
In door-way where the lilac blows,
Humming a little wandering air,
I make my shroud and no one knows,
So shimmering fine it is and fair.
When I was a girl by Nilus stream
I watched the desert stars arise;
My lover, he who dreamed the Sphinx,
Learned all his dreaming from my eyes.
I bore in Greece a burning name,
And I have been in Italy
Madonna to a painter-lad,
And mistress to a Medici.
And have you heard (and I have heard)
Of puzzled men with decorous mien,
Who judged--The wench knows far too much--
And hanged her on the Salem green?
Have you seen Angelique,
What way she went?
A white robe she wore,
A flickering light near spent
Her pale hand bore.
Have you seen Angelique?
Will she know the place
Dead feet must find,
The grave-cloth on her face
To make her blind?
Have you seen Angelique....
At night I hear her moan,
And I shiver in my bed;
She wanders all alone,
She cannot find the dead.
Not long ago but everywhere I go
There is a hill and a black windy sky.
Portent of hill, sky, day’s eclipse I know:
Hill, sky, the shuddering darkness, these am I.
The dying at His right hand, at His left
I am--the thief redeemed and the lost thief;
I am the careless folk; I those bereft,
The Well-Belov’d, the women bowed in grief.
The gathering Presence that in terror cried,
In earth’s shock, in the Temple’s veil rent through,
I: and a watcher, ignorant, curious-eyed,
I the centurion who heard and knew.