Some have ascended, some are merely dead,
Some are white diamonds, others black like coals;
In ashes you will find your daily bread:
Dry peas and lentils, cast away like souls
That some cruel hand condemns to fires of war.
Gather the good, my doves, and eat the bad!
For I must quit the hearthstone to adore
The idol of a heart forever glad.
I wear the pall of cinders and of soot,
But where a fire has burned, all things are clean.
And so, the shoe is on the other foot,
Dark sisters � through my veil, behold your Queen!
With fare of embers you may gobble down �
Tonight I trade your envy for a crown.
WALTZING ON GLASS
My raiment is as changeful as the sun,
A pearl within her shell on cloudy days;
Black as the absence of the radiant one;
Red as carnelian lost in ruby haze �
But fairer still, my shoes of gilded glass
In which I tread the triple beat of Time,
Lead us from festival to wedding-mass:
Love's hour, ringing like a golden chime!
I must not break the rhythm, or the spell;
I must remember that our love is chaste;
The gear that drives the whirring and the bell �
Your hand upon the ribbon at my waist �
Unlocks the rosy peace of sun on sea �
Time, speed the clock, and give the night to me!
THE YOUNG HUSBAND
I ran from you, for it was not the hour
When I might lose myself in your embrace,
And sought the pear tree, in whose fruitful bower
I could remain unknown, while you gave chase.
The sturdy branches that I clung to then
Foretold the iron of your body now,
And I can see the doves who hid me, when
Your shy hands brush my skin, to seal our vow.
What does it truly mean that we are fair?
Through depths of vapor wings a shooting star
That casts a veil of silver on the pear,
And lights the room, to show us who we are:
One tree of life, whose bounty we must feed,
Love at the root, and glory in the seed.