Victoria Grace Blackburn

(17 April 1865 - 4 March 1928 / Quebec)

The Chant Of The Woman - Poem by Victoria Grace Blackburn

Clash the cymbals!
String the harp and sound it–
Cymbals and harp, there, you Makers of Music!

I will chant to my Comrade the chant of my being,
Woman to Man will I chant it.

I am as old as any. I too have a lineage.
I have come up by forms and through æons;
Forms of manifold fashion, æons of infinite dream.

I, too, am projected of Poets, offspring of the Singers:
I have lain in the womb of the World and incarnate its wonder–
I have played with the Child of the ages and captured its glee–
I have been kissed with the kisses of Kings–
Great Lovers have whispered their lore for my learning.

[Page 388]

Then and now and always, wide away and the length of a span,
I gather that I must gather, by impulse, election:
In me only is attraction,
It alone could attract me,
So am I myself, and none other,
Myself–a mystery! a mouthpiece!

Myself and yet yourself, we two inexplicably one–
Flesh in its consummation, Soul in its incompleteness–
And because of the incompleteness of Soul,
Woman to man,
I chant you the chant of my being.

I cannot live on the crumbs that fall from a Table:
I must be lifted,
Lifted level with my love and with my Lover.
I must be clothed with the purple, made free of the signet–
I must put my hand in his dish, my head on his bosom–
Eye to eye must we lean, loquacious together.

So, and so only
Can I give him to drink of the wine of my winning,
My strange new wine that seethes and bubbles.
So and so only
Can I kiss on his lips the message of Kings–
Whisper the wonder of Life,
The laugh of the Child–
The lore of the Lovers.

Level! Level! Level!
Level with your lips and your eyes my Comrade,
Swing to the height of your heart,
Caught in your soul and kept there
Pervading and peerless!

So, and so only, your Lover, your Servant:
Every passionate pulse-beat
Under the blue veins in my white wrist
Your Servant and Lover–
I cannot live on the crumbs that fall from a Table!

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, May 9, 2012

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