The Morning Shower

A poem by Edward Powys Mathers

The young lady shows like a thing of light
In the shadowy deeps of a fair window
Grown round with flowers.

She is naked and leans forward, and her flesh like frost
Gathers the light beyond the stone brim.

Only the hair made ready for the day
Suggests the charm of modern clothing.

Her blond eyebrows are the shape of very young moons.

The shower's bright water overflows
In a pure rain.

She lifts one arm into an urgent line,
Cooling her rose fingers
On the grey metal of the spray.

If I could choose my service, I would be the shower
Dashing over her in the sunlight.

From the Chinese of J.S. Ling (1901).

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