I roll myself upon you as upon a bed, I resign myself to the
He whom I call answers me and takes the place of my lover,
He rises with me silently from the bed.
Darkness, you are gentler than my lover, his flesh was sweaty
I feel the hot moisture yet that
he left me.
My hands are spread forth, I pass them in all directions,
I would sound up the shadowy shore to which
Be careful darkness! already what was it touch'd me?
I thought my lover had gone, else darkness and
he are one,
I hear the heart-beat, I follow, I fade away.
I descend my western course, my sinews are flaccid,
Perfume and youth course through me and I am
It is my face yellow and wrinkled instead of the old woman's,
I sit low in a straw-bottom chair and carefully
It is I too, the sleepless widow looking out on the winter
I see the sparkles of starshine on the
icy and pallid earth.
A shroud I see and I am the shroud, I wrap a body and lie in
It is dark here under ground, it is
not evil or pain here, it is
blank here, for reasons.
(It seems to me that every thing in the light and air ought to
Whoever is not in his coffin and
the dark grave let him know
he has enough.)
I see a beautiful gigantic swimmer swimming naked through
the eddies of the sea,
His brown hair lies close and even to his head, he strikes out
with courageous arms, he urges himself
with his legs,
I see his white body, I see his undaunted eyes,
I hate the swift-running eddies that would
dash him head-
foremost on the rocks.
What are you doing you ruffianly red-trickled waves?
Will you kill the courageous giant? will you kill him
prime of his middle age?
Steady and long he struggles,
He is baffled, bang'd, bruis'd, he holds out while his strength
slapping eddies are spotted with his blood, they bear him away,
they roll him, swing him, turn him,
beautiful body is borne in the circling eddies, it is
continually bruis'd on rocks,
Swiftly and out of sight is
borne the brave corpse.
I turn but do not extricate myself,
Confused, a past-reading, another, but with darkness yet.
The beach is cut by the razory ice-wind, the wreck-guns
The tempest lulls, the moon comes floundering
I look where the ship helplessly heads end on, I hear the
burst as she strikes, I hear the howls of dismay,
grow fainter and fainter.
I cannot aid with my wringing fingers,
I can but rush to the surf and let it drench me and freeze upon