THE WILD COMMON
THE quick sparks on the gorse bushes are leaping, Little jets of
sunlight-texture imitating flame; Above them, exultant, the pee-wits
are sweeping: They are lords of the desolate wastes of
sadness their screamings proclaim.
Rabbits, handfuls of brown earth, lie Low-rounded on the mournful
grass they have bitten down to the quick. Are they asleep?—Are they
alive?—Now see, when I Move my arms the hill bursts and heaves
under their spurting kick.
The common flaunts bravely; but below, from the rushes Crowds of
glittering king-cups surge to challenge the blossoming bushes; There
the lazy streamlet pushes Its curious course mildly; here it wakes
again, leaps, laughs, and gushes.
Into a deep pond, an old sheep-dip, Dark, overgrown with willows,
cool, with the brook ebbing through so slow, Naked on the steep, soft
lip Of the bank I stand watching my own white shadow quivering to
What if the gorse flowers shrivelled and kissing were lost? Without
the pulsing waters, where were the marigolds and the songs of the
brook? If my veins and my breasts with love embossed Withered, my
insolent soul would be gone like flowers that the hot wind took.
So my soul like a passionate woman turns, Filled with remorseful
terror to the man she scorned, and her love For myself in my
own eyes' laughter burns, Runs ecstatic over the pliant folds rippling
down to my belly from the breast-lights above.
Over my sunlit skin the warm, clinging air, Rich with the songs of
seven larks singing at once, goes kissing me glad. And the soul of the
wind and my blood compare Their wandering happiness, and the
wind, wasted in liberty, drifts on and is sad.
Oh but the water loves me and folds me, Plays with me, sways me,
lifts me and sinks me as though it were living blood, Blood of a
heaving woman who holds me, Owning my supple body a rare glad
thing, supremely good.