Romance of the Rose
© 2008 by Ellin Anderson
|A BALLAD OF INSPIRATION
I rode at dawn, when the stars had gone,
And the rain was sweet May wine,
To seek Love's gift, between pain and bliss,
And join his lips to mine.
In the rose and pearl of it, I rode on,
But still I saw no sign,
And I came to the dunes that the white waves kiss,
And tasted tears and brine.
I sought that wraith of the borderland
Who dwells at the edge of things.
So I plied my spurs on a jagged pass
Where the wild sea fails and sings;
My heartbeats echoed through hoofs on sand
In a void with the speech of kings,
And my white skirts whispered against the grass
As the wild wind brushes wings.
There! In a thicket of black plum trees
Where petals fell like spray,
I found the young sea-lord, come home
In his coat of iron gray.
Like a sheaf of gold from the threshing seas,
And his gaze held the cold blue bay —
But a wolf leapt into the flowery foam,
And silently ran away.
I wheeled around, to ride him down
As the soft spring day grew fair,
But near the causeway that parts the marsh
Wheeled one of the Lords of Air!
His sleek plumes shifted from gray to brown
To gold, in the hot noon glare;
His form was noble; his cry was harsh,
For the hunted know despair.
Despair is the quarry of no one's choice,
And yet it can beguile.
So I tied my mount at the garden's edge
With the moon for light and dial.
No howl rose there, nor an eagle's voice,
But a man's tread on the tile,
And he smiled as he stepped through the laurel hedge,
As only a man can smile.
© 2008 by Ellin Anderson. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be copied or used in any way without written permission from the author.