ONE room in all that house was quietly hers:
Here was her place of kneeling; here she kept
The candles lighted while the family slept;
And here, like other lonely worshipers,
Occasionally she wept.
All of her windows looked out on the sea;
Water was like a bird with gray cool wings
Cloudy over her heart; and there were things
Like sea gulls and the thin monotony
Of their shrill whinnyings.
Whatever in her passionate strange way
She dreamed or did; whatever work she planned,
There never was entreaty or command:
‘It is best as it is,’ she used to say,
‘Let the thing stand.’
Nobody knew what burrowed deep inside
Her heart — the hunger, the unhappiness;
Nobody knew and nobody could guess
The terrible price she paid so she might hide
What she would not express.
The seasons in their color came and went;
All one to her the sunken stars, the sun:
So from oblivion to oblivion
She moved; and it was dully evident
That all to her were one.
And the brave constellations rise and fall;
And she whose beauty beggars them is dead
As though she were the white moon pivoted
On her own death-glow. . . . And my heart is gall;
And everything is said.