To Every Woman

MY years have walked through quiet ways
That have not bruised my feet too much,
And I have never seen my joys
Turn black beneath my touch,
Nor tasted wild, sweet, willful love
And all its discontent;
And yet, most strangely, on a road
I walk not, I am spent
By joys and agonies of which my years are innocent.
On golden hills the mad red grapes
Press Bacchus’ purple kiss against my mouth;
The druid forests hold gaunt shapes
That I have knelt to; and the south
Pulls at my heart with every swallow fleet;
Young children clasp my thighs, and all about
The dust of Calvary lies hot against my feet.
I sometimes think all joys were mine
That women ever knew,
All woes and throes, all soft sunshine,
All tears, all dreams, all dew,
And all awakenings; that I
A hundred times have climbed bleak hills
To watch my lover die.