Genevieve Taggard

Epithalamium

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Out of the forest, panther, come,
Silken, supple, silent, lone–
Out of the forest, drooped with night–
To your delight.
Under bloom and over stone,
Out of the forest, panther, come.

Something sees and slips with you,
Something huge and gaunt and blue,
Lashes its tail and follows you:
You, pursued, still pursue....

Sky with thunder on its rim
Closes and closes after you:
Trigger loin, swinging limb,
Go and go and go from him!
Brushing haunches, taut with dew,
Follow, follow, follow you.

Now the doe with lifted ears
Rears in the bramble, looks and hears.
Sway a little, creeper, creeper;
After you comes, more gaunt than you
And lean for prey, and quick, the leaper,
–And the little doe will sleep with the sleeper.

Out of the forest, panther, come,
Silken, supple, silent, lone,
Out of the forest, drooped with night,
To your delight:
Under bloom, and over stone,
Out of the forest, panther, come.

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Genevieve Taggard