Alfred Bruce Douglas


Alas! I have lost my God,
My beautiful God Apollo.
Wherever his footsteps trod
My feet were wont to follow.
But Oh! it fell out one day
My soul was so heavy with weeping,
That I laid me down by the way ;
And he left me while I was sleeping.
And my soul awoke in the night,
And I bowed my ear for his fluting,
And I heard but the breath of the flight
Of wings and the night—birds hooting.
And night drank all her cup,
And I went to the shrine in the hollow,
And the voice of my cry went up:
‘ Apollo! Apollo! Apollo! ’
But he never came to the gate,
And the sun was hid in a mist,
And there came one walking late,
And I knew it was Christ,
He took my soul and bound it
With cords of iron wire,
Seven times round He wound it
With the cords of my desire.
The cords of my desire,
While my desire slept,,
Were seven bands of wire
To bind my soul that wept.
And He hid my soul at last
In a place of stones and (ears,
Where the hours like days went past
And the days went by like years.
And after many days
That which had slept awoke,
And desire burnt in a blaze,
And my soul went up in the smoke.
And we crept away from the place
And would not look behind,
And the angel that hides his face
Was crouched on the neck of the wind.
And I went to the shrine in the hollow
Where the lutes and the flutes were playing,
And cried: ‘ I am come, Apollo,
Back to thy shrine, from my straying.’
But he would have none of my soul
That was stained with blood and with tears,
That had lain in the earth like a mole,
In the place of great stones and fears.
And now I am lost in the mist
Of the things that can never be,
For I will have none of Christ
And Apollo will none of me.

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