Thomas Bailey Aldrich

(November 11, 1836 – March 19, 1907 / Portsmouth, New Hampshire)

Act V


[MIDNIGHT.]

First, two white arms that held him very close,
And ever closer as he drew him back
Reluctantly, the loose gold-colored hair
A thousand delicate fibers reaching out
Still to detain him; then some twenty steps
Of iron staircse winding round and down,
And ending in a narrow gallery hung
With Gobelin tapestries--Andromeda
Rescued by Perseus, and the sleek Diana
With her nymphs bathing; at the farther end
A door that gave upon a starlit grove
Of citron and clipt palm-trees; then a path
As bleached as moonlight, with the shadow of leaves
Stamped black upon it; next a vine-clad length
Of solid masonry; and last of all
A Gothic archway packed with night, and then--
A sudden gleaming dagger through his heart.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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