Muriel Stuart

(1889-1967 / England)

The Fools - Poem by Muriel Stuart

BELOW, the street was hoarse with cries,
With groan of carts and scuffling feet,
With laughter worse than blasphemies,
Was choked with dust and blind with heat,
This room was still--too still for peace.

It heard the livid words we said
Of hate and passion, watched us where
I sat, as one beside the dead--
You lay with all your glorious hair
Flung on the crazy bed.

The moment's passion ended brought--
Ah, child, to you what did it bring?
What could it, but one hideous thought
To us so tired of everything,
And hating what we sought?

--So tired of all this grey room meant,
Of life together, shackled cold,
Or bound in flame so different
From the swift, white desire of old,
The old, divine consent.

Poor room, so meanly intimate!
Our dirty clothes sprawled on a chair,
Combs, candle-ends, and grimy plate
Littered the table, paper and hair
Forlornely choked the grate.

And I so passionate, you such
A wild sweet plunderer of bliss
Soon fallen in our own folly's clutch,
Finding how wrong, how mad it is
To know, to love, too much.

You rose, but with no woman's care
For all the beauty that is hers,
Pent up your out-burst storm of hair
And fetched your cloak and found your purse,
And matched my sullen stare.

Wild words so often said before
Escape us in the old fierce way.
You cried, "I shall return no more!"
I said, "I shall no longer stay!"
You closed the grumbling door.

The mirror grinned, "They are still one."
The cupboard gasped, "Their clothes are here."
The ghastly bed said with a leer,
"I shall not sleep alone!"

They knew what took us years to learn,
That Habit terrible and slow
Doth Love and Hate alike inurn.
They knew too well I should not go,
They knew you would return.

Comments about The Fools by Muriel Stuart

  • Susan Williams (1/31/2018 3:52:00 PM)

    She made me an instant fan of her writing. She can paint a picture of the room in so many different ways both direct and oblique. She can give these two people character both directly but also by such adroit indirect means. As for topic, she doesn't back off from truth. Top notch poet. 10, of course. (Report) Reply

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  • Edward Kofi Louis (1/31/2018 2:24:00 PM)

    Years to learn! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Denis Mair (1/31/2018 10:25:00 AM)

    She is only telling a corner of the story. This poem is good, but I think a broader canvas of the story needs to be told. Maybe society is partly to blame for not providing enough outlets for these ardent young people. They need adventure. (Report) Reply

  • Denis Mair (1/31/2018 10:20:00 AM)

    Where has this woman been all my life? She is fully alive to the pain people inflict on each other. I hope that when she turns to the subject of beauty, it will be ravishing enough to balance this. I will read some of her other poems to find out. (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (1/31/2018 3:23:00 AM)

    Such a brilliant write by Muriel Stuart👍👍👍 (Report) Reply

  • Candy Kelly (11/8/2006 2:34:00 PM)

    I just absolutely adore this poem, it could have been written about so many star-crossed lovers: Anthony and Cleopatra, Liz and Richard, Candy and Mike (me and my ex) , but alas, many of us were fools for a long while but eventually we never did return. If only loving was enough to erase the darkness of our ways. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: passion, hate, hair, crazy, mirror, laughter, woman, together, rose, peace, child, beauty, sleep, alone, women, children

Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004

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