Choriambics II

Here the flame that was ash, shrine that was void,
   lost in the haunted wood,
I have tended and loved, year upon year, I in the
Waiting, quiet and glad-eyed in the dark, knowing that
   once a gleam
Glowed and went through the wood. Still I abode strong
   in a golden dream,
   For I, I that had faith, knew that a face would glance
One day, white in the dim woods, and a voice call, and
   a radiance
Fill the grove, and the fire suddenly leap . . . and, in
   the heart of it,
End of labouring, you! Therefore I kept ready the altar,
The flame, burning apart.
          Face of my dreams vainly in vision white
Gleaming down to me, lo! hopeless I rise now. For
   about midnight
Whispers grew through the wood suddenly, strange cries
   in the boughs above
Grated, cries like a laugh. Silent and black then through
   the sacred grove
Great birds flew, as a dream, troubling the leaves, passing
   at length.

          I knew
Long expected and long loved, that afar, God of the dim
   wood, you
Somewhere lay, as a child sleeping, a child suddenly reft
   from mirth,
White and wonderful yet, white in your youth, stretched
   upon foreign earth,
God, immortal and dead!
          Therefore I go; never to rest, or win
Peace, and worship of you more, and the dumb wood and
   the shrine therein.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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