Dream Anguish

A poem by Maurice Henry Hewlett

My thought of thee is tortured in my sleep--
Sometimes thou art near beside me, but a cloud
Doth grudge me thy pale face, and rise to creep
Slowly about thee, to lap thee in a shroud;
And I, as standing by my dead, to weep
Desirous, cannot weep, nor cry aloud.
Or we must face the clamouring of a crowd
Hissing our shame; and I who ought to keep
Thine honour safe and my betrayed heart proud,
Knowing thee true, must watch a chill doubt leap
The tired faith of thee, and thy head bow'd,
Nor budge while the gross world holdeth thee cheap!

Or there are frost-bound meetings, and reproach
At parting, furtive snatches full of fear;
Love grown a pain; we bleed to kiss, and kiss
Because we bleed for love; the time doth broach
Shame, and shame teareth at us till we tear
Our hearts to shreds--yet wilder love for this!

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