The Desolate Lover

WHEN I have forgotten your lips
(As I pray to God I may do),
And your voice is lost to my ears
And all the sweet that was you
Has burnt from my heart at last,
Will you, too, be dead, or shall I
Be desolate dust when the thirst
And color of living are past ?
For I think while you walked with him
On the soft grass over my head
The pain that had died with my heart
Would sting in the rot of the dead.
And the old men mumble and laugh
With the love blood cold in their veins,
But I am a fire and a fear
And the house of a thousand pains,
And I walk on my burning dreams,
And the hands that I touch are knives,
And breathing is death with hell
And life is a thousand lives.
And I shutter the windows now
For fear I should sec the stars,
And I dread that the hateful sweet
Of the moon may come through the bars.
I could take the earth in my hand
And crumple it like a flower,
I could tear the trees from their roots
In the bitterness of my power.
They say that this lime is Spring,
But I cannot see its glow —
God! darken the evenings down
And cover the world with snow.
Yet I know that when souls and stars
Shall meet, I may have no rest —
I shall see them walk hand in hand,
Her head on his hated breast.
EILEEN SHANAHAN