Marie Under

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Over the garden the moon’s tide tumbles;
Shrubs are shaken by gusts and tremblings;
Pathways ribbon with sudden dissemblings
Towards the threshold where false foot stumbles.
Out of the soil of midnight, tender,
Lift my arms’ white tendrils and, weaving,
Motion to someone shadowy and absent,
Someone who tarries somewhere, perhaps may not be existent.

Oh, do I fear the days of torrid splendour,
Nights full of flowers? Oh, do I fear when I see that
These would not yield to the ultimate depths of my choosing?
My heart is breaking little by little
As a ripe pomegranate, skin parched brittle,
Breaks: full loving is prelude to losing.

Cords are unknotted, the covers have parted,
And I rise winged from where I have smarted.
Oh, do I fear now what heart discloses,
All these desires in fevered legions?
And shall I gather the pure cold roses,
Open and waiting in those white regions,
Towards which the days have died and the nights have faded,
And my blue sail wafts a burning soul that has loved as they

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