The End of a Month.

The night last night was strange and shaken :1
More strange the change of you and me.2
Once more, the old love’s love forsaken,3
We went out once more toward the sea.4
For the old love’s love-sake dead and buried,5
One last time, one more and no more,6
We watched the waves set in, the serried7
Spears of the tide storming the shore.8
Hardly we saw the high moon hanging,9
Heard hardly through the windy night10
Far waters ringing, low reefs clanging,11
Under wan skies and waste white light.12
With chafe and change of surges chiming,13
The clashing channels rocked and rang14
Large music, wave to wild wave timing,15
And all the choral water sang.16
Faint lights fell this way, that way floated,17
Quick sparks of sea-fire keen like eyes18
From the rolled surf that flashed and noted19
Shores and faint cliffs and bays and skies.20
The ghost of sea that shrank up sighing21
At the sand’s edge, a short sad breath22
Trembling to touch the goal, and dying23
With weak heart heaved up once in death24
The rustling sand and shingle shaken25
With light sweet touches and small sound26
These could not move us, could not waken27
Hearts to look forth, eyes to look round.28
Two figures with long flowing hair shown in profile, looking to the right of the illustration. Their arms hands and hands are intertwined and wrapped around one another. Full-page illustration contained within a single-ruled rectangular border.
Silent we went an hour together,29
Under grey skies by waters white.30
Our hearts were full of windy weather,31
Clouds and blown stars and broken light.32
Full of cold clouds and moonbeams drifted33
And streaming storms and straying fires,34
Our souls in us were stirred and shifted35
By doubts and dreams and foiled desires.36
Across, aslant, a scudding sea-mew37
Swam, dipped, and dropped, and grazed the sea ;38
And one with me I could not dream you :39
And one with you I could not be.40
As the white wing the white wave’s fringes41
Touched and slid over and flashed past42
As a pale cloud a pale flame tinges43
From the moon’s lowest light and last44
As a star feels the sun and falters,45
Touched to death by diviner eyes46
As on the old gods’ untended altars47
The old fire of withered worship dies48
(Once only, once the shine relighted49
Sees the last fiery shadow shine,50
Last shadow of flame and faith benighted,51
Sees falter and flutter and fail the shrine.)52
So once with fiery breath and flying53
Your winged heart touched mine and went,54
And the swift spirits kissed, and sighing,55
Sundered and smiled and were content.56
That only touch, that feeling only,57
Enough we found, we found too much ;58
For the unlit shrine is hardly lonely59
As one the old fire forgets to touch.60
Slight as the sea’s sight of the sea-mew,61
Slight as the sun’s sight of the star :62
Enough to show one must not deem you63
For love’s sake other than you are.64
Who snares and tames with fear and danger65
A bright beast of a fiery kin,66
Only to mar, only to change her67
Sleek supple soul and splendid skin ?68
Easy with blows to mar and maim her,69
Easy with bonds to bind and bruise ;70
What profit, if she yield her tamer71
The limbs to mar, the soul to lose ?72
Best leave or take the perfect creature,73
Take all she is or leave complete ;74
Transmute you will not form or feature,75
Change feet for wings or wings for feet.76
Strange eyes, new limbs, can no man give her ;77
Sweet is the sweet thing as it is.78
No soul she hath, we see, to outlive her ;79
Hath she for that no lips to kiss ?80
So may one read his weird, and reason,81
And with vain drugs assuage no pain ;82
For each man in his loving season83
Fools and is fooled of these in vain.84
Charms that allay not any longing,85
Spells that appease not any grief,86
Time brings us all by handfuls, wronging87
All hurts with nothing of relief.88
Ah, too soon shot, the fool’s bolt misses !89
What help ? the world is full of loves ;90
Night after night of running kisses,91
Chirp after chirp of changing doves.92
Should Love disown or disesteem you93
For loving one man more or less ?94
You could not tame your light white sea-mew,95
Nor I my sleek black pantheress.96
For a new soul let whoso please pray,97
We are what life made us, and shall be.98
For you the jungle and me the sea-spray,99
And south for you and north for me.100
But this one broken foam-white feather101
I throw you off the hither wing,102
Splashed stiff with sea-scurf and salt weather,103
This song for sleep to learn and sing104
Sing in your ear when, daytime over,105
You, couched at long length on hot sand106
With some sleek sun-discoloured lover,107
Wince from his breath as from a brand :108
Till dreams of sharp gray north-sea weather109
Fall faint upon your fiery sleep,110
As on strange sands a strayed bird’s feather111
The wind may choose to lose or keep.112
But I, who leave my queen of panthers,113
As a tired honey-heavy bee114
Gilt with sweet dust from gold-grained anthers115
Leaves the rose-chalice, what for me ?116
From the ardours of the chaliced centre,117
From the amorous anther’s golden grime,118
That scorch and smutch all wings that enter,119
I fly forth hot from honey-time.120
But as to a bee’s gilt thighs and winglets121
The flower-dust and the flower-smell clings ;122
As a snake’s mobile rampant ringlets123
Leave the sand marked with print of rings ;124
So to my soul in surer fashion125
Your savage stamp and savour hangs ;126
The print and perfume of old passion,127
The wild-beast mark of panther’s fangs.128
A sprig of ivy. 1/16 page.