Dora Sigerson Shorter
The Golden Apple
She saw on the far bank a golden apple,
A glowing apple, poor little Eve,
Between ran the river so darkly dapple,
By sunshine land she was loth to leave.
She looked, and she longed, till the fruit forbidden
Became the quest of her heart's desire,
So she sought at last for the knowledge hidden
Within the red of its secret fire.
Then he came, her love, to the bank forsaken,
Called her thrice, by the river of fear,
‘Since you for my wish from the branch have taken
The fruit forbidden, I hold you dear.’
And he cried, ‘Come back from the fatal water.
I'll give you a robe of silver sheen.’
But she smiled full wan as he vain besought her.
The twisting river ran cold between.
‘I will give you a ring for your hand so slender,
So tears no longer your shame shall be.’
Now her weak voice came to him low and tender,
‘Be kind to all maids for thought of me.’
All quick to his feet came a dark wave throwing
The apple red with its secret fire,
That held deep hid in its gold heart glowing
The fruit of evil and good desire.
Then he held it safe from the chill tide's pleasure,
And he drew it close in his arm full fair.
A smiling babe was his lost love's treasure,
With gloss of gold on his ruddy hair.
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