Wilfrid Scawen Blunt
To Hester On The Stair - Poem by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt
Hester, creature of my love,
What is this? You love not me?
On the stair you stand above,
Looking down distrustfully
With the corners of your eyes
Watching me in mute surprise,
Me, your father, only me.
Hester, why this foolish terror,
You who know me and my ways?
Was my love so writ in error
That it needed your disgrace?
Is your doubt of locks grown thin
Or the beard which hides his chin
His, your father's chin and face?
Hester, we were fools of passion
When our last goodbyes were smiled.
Now you stand in your strange fashion
By my kisses unbeguiled,
With your light foot turned to flee
While I press you to my knee,
You, my child, my only child.
Listen, Hester, I am able
Still to flatter and be fond:
You the wise crow of the fable
Perched above me and beyond.
Foolish! Not one word you speak
To my praises of your cheek,
Not one sound, one only sound!
Be it so. My love you mock it,
And my sighs are empty wind.
See, I shut my heart and lock it
From your laughing eyes unkind.
Yet, remember this last word,
Love is two--edged like a sword.
Mind this only, only mind!
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