The Impossible Tryst

An ancient legend kindles in my brain
Of Helen of Troy and Don Juan of Spain
And how they met in hades, one great day,
Inheritor of passion's long domain!

Though one soul had, but recent, trod the way
To last, eternal twilight, while the other
In life had called the Dioscuri brother, —
Contemporaneous in eternity,
They were of even age now; young life's flower
Burst in them still!
Amid the flames they stood,
Despite the Undying Worm than death more dire, —
Unfading, with unending life endued....

For they burned yet with unappeased desire
That kept them young, despite the surging fire...
And God had granted that notorious hour
To prove beyond His Will lust held no power...
And Satan, for the famed seducer's soul,

Had promised, after death, as last, rich goal,
That he'd possess this Helen of Troy in hell,
Gathering all time to make a miracle —
And so he'd gained him!...
in a burning dell
Where the red grass was fire their mating fell:
Therein their passion was to know brief flower...

" Sick aeons I have waited, Don Juan! "
" And you were still the hope that led me on.
Your mouth! your mouth — for infinite hunger's sake! "
And expectation, shivering through the earth,
Struck upward...all the dead were stirred awake:
Bone danced by bone, in dust, remembering bliss,
And " what strange thing " they whispered " love, is this? "
The stocks and stones moved as if giving birth,
And flowers and trees, beginning with the root,
Shot into giant blossom, giant fruit
And showered the ground with ripeness and with flower
At the first kiss of that impossible hour...

The Beasts about the Throne looked down in wonder
As heaven's far, blue plain began to quake...
Up, up commotion mounted: was it hell
Coming once more with banners? hell, anew,
Repeating the old, impossible assault,
To be swept once more headlong down the vault?

The Saved themselves grew troubled!
God withdrew
His Promise, with one burst of reddening thunder
Flung to hell's midst, down all the dizzying Blue!
Rate this poem: 


No reviews yet.