Selene Afterwards

THE moon is dead, you lovers!
She who walked
Naked upon the dark Ægean, she
Who under Ida in the beech groves mocked
The rutting satyrs, she who secretly,
Leaving below her the slow lifting sea,
Climbed through the woods of Latmus to the bed
Of the eternal sleeper — she is dead,
Dead, you lovers! I have seen her face.
The sun rose by St.Étienne. She fled
Half turning back (as though the plunge of space
Over the world’s rim frightened her) her head
And stared and stared at me. Her face was dead.
It was a woman’s face but dead as stone
And leper white and withered to the bone.
It was a woman’s skull the shriveling cold
Out there among the stars had withered dry
And its dry white was mottled with dry mould.
It was a long dead skull the caustic lye
Of time had eaten clean, and in the sky
As under the cold water of a lake
Lay crumbling year by year, white flake by flake,
Scabious, scurfy. Oh, look down, look down
You lovers, through that water where there swing
Night shadows of the world. Look deep, deep. Drown
Your eyes in deepness. Look! There lies the thing
That made you love, that maddened you!
Oh sing,
Sing in the fields, you lovers. The low moon
Moves in the elms. It will be summer soon.