In the Dark

A blotch of pallor stirs beneath the high
Square picture-dusk, the window of dark sky.

A sound subdued in the darkness: tears!
As if a bird in difficulty up the valley steers.

" Why have you gone to the window? Why don't you sleep?
How you have wakened me! — But why, why do you weep? "

" I am afraid of you, I am afraid, afraid!
There is something in you destroys me — — ! "

" You have dreamed and are not awake, come here to me. "
" No, I have wakened. It is you, you are cruel to me! "

" My dear! " — " Yes, yes, you are cruel to me. You cast
A shadow over my breasts that will kill me at last. "

" Come! " — " No, I'm a thing of life. I give
You armfuls of sunshine, and you won't let me live. "

" Nay, I'm too sleepy! " — " Ah, you are horrible ;
You stand before me like ghosts, like a darkness upright. "

" I! " — " How can you treat me so, and love me?
My feet have no hold, you take the sky from above me. "

" My dear, the night is soft and eternal, no doubt
You love it! " — " It is dark, it kills me, I am put out "

" My dear, when you cross the street in the sunshine, surely
Your own small night goes with you. Why treat it so poorly? "

" No, no, I dance in the sun, I'm a thing of life — — "
" Even then it is dark behind you. Turn round, my wife "

" No, how cruel you are, you people the sunshine
With shadows! " — " With yours I people the sunshine, yours and mine — —

" In the darkness we all are gone, we are gone with the trees
And the restless river; — we are lost and gone with all these. "

" But I am myself, I have nothing to do with these. "
" Come back to bed, let us sleep on our mysteries.

" Come to me here, and lay your body by mine,
And I will be all the shadow, you the shine

" Come, you are cold, the night has frightened you.
Hark at the river! It pants as it hurries through.

" The pine-woods. How I love them so, in their mystery of not-to-be. "
" — But let me be myself, not a river or a tree. "

" Kiss me! How cold you are! — Your little breasts
Are bubbles of ice Kiss me! — You know how it rests

" One to be quenched, to be given up, to be gone in the dark;
To be blown out, to let night dowse the spark.

" But never mind, my love. Nothing matters, save sleep;
Save you, and me, and sleep; all the rest will keep. "
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