Release

Helen, had I known yesterday
That you could discharge the ache
Out of the wound,
Had I known yesterday you could take
The turgid electric ache away,
Drink it up in the ground
Of your soft white body, as lightning
Is drunk from an agonised sky by the earth,
I should have hated you, Helen.

But since my limbs gushed full of fire,
Since from out of my blood and bone
Poured a heavy flame
To you, earth of my atmosphere, stone
Of my steel, lovely white flint of desire,
You have no name.
Earth of my swaying atmosphere,
Substance of my inconstant breath,
I cannot but cleave to you, Helen.

Since you have drunken up the drear
Death-darkened storm, and death
Is washed from the blue
Of my eyes, I see you beautiful, and dear.
Beautiful, passive and strong, as the breath
Of my yearning blows over you.
I see myself as the winds that hover
Half substanceless, and without grave worth.
But you
Are the earth I hover over.
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