Monday, September 24, 2012

Lydia: August, 2006

Her hair was like to silken threads,
So dark, and soft, and fine;
Her skin was soft; her fingers, curled,
Like tendrils of the vine;
And when she slept, her fingers
In my hand would sweetly twine--
But once I heard her laughter,
And twice I heard her laughter,
Her innocent, sweet laughter
While she slept.

Her tears were like blue diamonds
That when she wept, did shine;
Her smile, like any infant's,
Was artless and divine;
Her cry would wrench a sinner's heart--
I know that it wrenched mine--
But once I heard her laughter,
Her soft and holy laughter,
And though I was a sinner,
My heart leapt.

Sleep on; sleep on, thou little one,
Dreaming not of pain,
And when you smile, the earth shall smile,
Shedding her years again;
And when you weep, the heavens shall weep
For sorrow at your pain;
And when you cry, the stars shall turn
To comfort you again,
And bid you cease your weeping,
Your lost, heartbroken weeping,
With hearts all rent for weeping
That you wept,

But when you laugh--the stars shall halt
In their celestial path;
The heavens bend to listen,
And the earth shall hold its breath;
And one unhappy sinner
Shall cease to think of death,
For joy of your sweet laughter,
Your soft and holy laughter,
Your innocent, sweet laughter,
While you slept.

*    *    *

The stars made me their nursling,
And from them my cradle swung;
And sinners heard my laughter,
And with joy their hearts were wrung;
And when I smiled, the sun did shine,
And when I wept, rain fell,
And gifts more fair were showered on me
Than ever tongue can tell.

But rather my own Mother
Than all the stars in heaven,
And rather her caresses
Than fairest gifts e'er given;
And rather my dear brothers
Than sun or rain that fell;
And rather my own sister
Than all the sinners in Hell.