Improvisations on the Flute
My lost delight, my guest,
Fled from me when I stirred,
Silently as the bird
That has no nest.
She has gathered darkness to build her a nest
And the little leaves of cloud.
She crouches with her breast against darkness,
And hides as a hare in the meadows of night.
It covers her like long grass
Whose blossom is all of stars;
Crocus-stars, stars of anemone,
Where cling the moths that are the longings of men.
She is born of the evening,
When the moon breathes the scent of young thyme,
And the dead shepherds hear the sheep cropping in the dew.
She is slain of the morning,
When the thin willow-leaves tremble like fire
Burning the branches,
As if each were a sorrow that burned and shone
My guest, my lost delight,
Come nearer, star by star.
Sweet as the lips of night
Your kisses are.
from The Lamp of Poor Souls, 1916
[All rights reserved by the author's estate - Please do not copy]
Marjorie Pickthall biography