Our Lady of Wain

Low eyelids that cloud like a prison
Grey eyes full of shimmer and shower
And the tremulous mouth and the risen
Pale face like a luminous flower;
Pale face of its own mirth bewild'rèd
What shall fix it at last, what remain?
O anything but sombre Miss Mildred,
Our Lady of Wain.

Seven sleepers the Greeks gave their city
But thy sister is sleeping for seven
Thou would'st wake us from hell, or from Kitty
(And she will not haunt us in heaven)
For the songs of thy singing have sounded
Since God bade thy life's song begin
And thine excellent father abounded
To furnish the tin.

Dost thou dream in a respite of slumber
In a pause in the rush of thy life
Of Grove House (which is not on the Humber)
Of the room where the dancers were rife
When the conduct of Crocher made fervent
Our friends who were mild in the man,
As one cursed him, his host, and thy servant
Our Lady of Wain.

They passed and their hatpegs were taken
Those sowers of natural oats
They passed, and without being shaken
Leaving singular things in our coats,
Mildred laughs, poking close and relentless
Her sister, to keep her awake
With a piece in her fingers of scentless
And edible cake.

Out of Scarboro', heavily laden
Her brothers bring, burdened in youth
A lady, a mortal, a maiden
A Queen over goodness and truth;
She is calm and her raiment is mellow
Dark hair, as the night in a skein,
And yours is decidedly yellow
Our Lady of Wain.
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