Dunces' Songs

Her hand in my hand,
Soft as the south wind,
Soft as a colt’s nose,
Soft as forgetting;
Her cheek to my cheek,
Red as the cranberry,
Red as a mitten,
Red as remembering —
Here we go round like raindrops,
Here we go round
So snug together,
Oh, but I wonder,
Oh, but I know,
Who comforts like raisins,
Who kisses like snow.
If I had a wife
I would love her as kings
Loved queens in the old days, or as princes
Met in the dew, by a stile, of a morning —
“How do you do, my pretty?”
And all of that.
If I had a wife
I would come home sometimes
Dressed like a stranger, and when she stared,
I’d say, and woo her in wonder —
“How can there be such shining?”
And all of that.
If I had a wife
I would never be done
With remembering how it is now when, oh,
I am lonesome,
And no one is here but my dog and my cat -
“Well, old boys! Hungry?”
And all of that.
Then I’ll be four-footed,
And modest with fur.
All over, all under,
Seemly and still.
Then I’ll be patient:
A part of the ground.
I will go slowly.
And lowly — oh, sweet,
Then I’ll be one of them
He that made all
Looks after the longest,
And tenderest loves.
Then I’ll be quiet -
You can be quick
And lie down all summer,
All winter, and sleep.