Leon Gellert

(1892 - 1977 / Australia)

Bluebeard’s First Wife


I lie by the garden wall,
Buried and all alone;
The brown camellias fall
One by one on the stone.

Buried and all alone,
Because I had loved the sky!
One by one on the stone
The blossoms shudder and die.

Because I had loved the sky—
The dark blue face of the sea!
(The blossoms shudder and die)
He murdered me at his knee.

The dark, blue face of the sea.
Nothing so dark as the tomb!
He murdered me at his knee.
I knew the truth of the room!

Nothing so dark as the tomb
For the vile revenge of the vain.
I knew the truth of the room
And the price of his hidden stain.

For the vile revenge of the vain
I suffered the knife at my skin,
And the price of his hidden stain
Was two and eleven a tin!

I suffered the knife at my skin;
I knew the dye that he used
Was two and eleven a tin.
I confess I was somewhat amused.

I knew the dye that he used.
I heard the stitch of my shroud.
I confess I was somewhat amused
At the fury that burst like a cloud.

I heard the stitch of my shroud,
And all of the world disappeared
At the fury that burst like a cloud
From the heaven’s blue of his beard.

And all of the world disappeared!
I lie by the garden wall.
From the heaven’s blue of his beard
The brown camellias fall.

Submitted: Monday, April 05, 2010

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