Roderic Quinn

(1867 - 1949 / Australia)

At Her Door


OPEN! Open! Open!
I am here at your door outside;
The sea's blue tide flows speedily,
And ebbs a thin red tide.'
The woman rose from her warm white bed,
Threw back her hair and smiled;
The ears of scorn heard the words of love,
And the wind and the words were wild.
'Wake! Awake! Awake!
And hearken the woe outside;
The moon is hid in cloudiness;
Calleth and calleth the tide.'
The woman stood in the silence still
As a thing men carve from stone.
Her eyes burned largely in the dark,
And the smile, like a stain, stayed on.
'Listen! Listen! Listen!
Hear you the rain to-night?
A warm dark rain is falling too,
And I grow ghostly-white.'
The woman took three steps and bowed;
The smile waned from her lip;
She heard the dripping of the rain
And a soft thick other drip.
'Open! Open! Open!
I die in the dark alone.
My voice goes up in weariness
Against your heart of stone.'
The moon to a cloud-cleft stealing
Gazed down on the yearning tide;
The woman opened the streaming door
And stood in the rain outside.
Silence! Stillness! She whispers,
'Ah, Love, that death should be!'
He sighed, 'Your lips are loveliness!'
And she sobbed, 'Woe is me!'
The woman pressed his dead white face
With her face as deadly white:
The moon drew in behind a cloud,
And the tide moaned through the night.

Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010

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