These are the women whom no man has loved. Year after year, day after day has moved. These hearts with many longings, and with tears, And with content; they have received the years With empty hands, expecting no good thing; Life has passed by their doors, not entering. In solitude, and without vain desire, They have warmed themselves beside a lonely fire; And, without scorn, beheld as in a glass The blown and painted leaves of Beauty pass. Their souls have been made fragrant with the spice Of costly virtues lit for sacrifice; They have accepted life, the unpaid debt, And looked for no vain day of reckoning. Yet They too in certain windless summer hours Have felt the stir of dreams, and dreamed the powers And the exemptions and the miracles And the cruelty of Beauty. Citadels Of many-walled and deeply-moated hearts Have suddenly surrendered to the arts Of so compelling magic; entering, They have esteemed it but a little thing To have won so great a conquest; and with haste They have cast down, and utterly laid waste, Tower upon tower, and sapped their roots with flame; And passed on that eternity of shame Which is the way of Beauty on the earth. And they have shaken laughter from its mirth, To be a sound of trumpets and of horns Crying the battle-cry of those red morns Against a sky of triumph. On some nights Of delicate Springtide, when the hesitant lights Begin to fade, and glimmer, and grow warm, And all the softening air is quick with storm, And the ardours of the young year, entering in, Flush the grey earth with buds; when trees begin To feel a trouble mounting from their roots, And all their green life blossoming into shoots, They too, in some obscure, unblossoming strife, Have felt the stirring of the sap of life. And they have wept, with bowed heads; in the street They hear the twittering of little feet, The rocking of the cradles in their hearts. This is a mood, and, as a mood, departs With the dried tears; and they resume the tale Of the dropt stitches; these must never fail For a dream's sake; nor, for a memory, The telling of a patient rosary.
English Poetry - http://eng-poetry.ru/english/index.php. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org