The Heart's Desire

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

God made her body out of foam and flowers,
And for her hair the dawn and darkness blent;
Then called two planets from their heavenly towers,
And in her face, divinely eloquent,
Gave them a firmament.

God made her heart of rosy ice and fire,
Of snow and flame, that freezes while it burns;
And of a starbeam and a moth's desire
He made her soul, to'ards which my longing turns,
And all my being yearns.

So is my life a prisoner unto passion,
Enslaved of her who gives nor sign nor word;
So in the cage her loveliness doth fashion
Is love endungeoned, like a golden bird
That sings but is not heard.

Could it but once convince her with beseeching!
But once compel her as the sun the South!
Could it but once, fond arms around her reaching,
Upon the red carnation of her mouth
Dew its eternal drouth!

Then might I rise victorious over sadness,
O'er fate and change, and, with but little care,
Torched by the glory of that moment's gladness,
Breast the black mountain of my life's despair,
And die or do and dare.

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