on the window-sill, eating human eyes.

The silver-blue moonlight makes the geraniums purple, and the roof shines

like ice.


How hot the sheets are! His skin is tormented with pricks,

and over him sticks, and never moves, an eye. It lights the sky with blood,

and drips blood. And the drops sizzle on his bare skin, and he smells them

burning in, and branding his body with the name "Annette".

The blood-red sky is outside his window now. Is it blood or fire?

Merciful God! Fire! And his heart wrenches and pounds "Annette!"

The lead of the roof is scorching, he ricochets, gets to the edge,

bounces over and disappears.

The bellying clouds are red as they swing over the housetops.


The air is of silver and pearl, for the night is liquid with moonlight.

How the ruin glistens, like a palace of ice! Only two black holes swallow

the brilliance of the moon. Deflowered windows, sockets without sight.

A man stands before the house. He sees the silver-blue moonlight,

and set in it, over his head, staring and flickering, eyes of geranium red.


In a Castle


Over the yawning chimney hangs the fog. Drip--hiss--drip--hiss--

fall the raindrops on the oaken log which burns, and steams,

and smokes the ceiling beams. Drip--hiss--the rain never stops.

The wide, state bed shivers beneath its velvet coverlet. Above, dim,

in the smoke, a tarnished coronet gleams dully. Overhead hammers and chinks

the rain. Fearfully wails the wind down distant corridors, and there comes

the swish and sigh of rushes lifted off the floors. The arras blows sidewise

out from the wall, and then falls back again.

It is my lady's key, confided with much nice cunning, whisperingly.

He enters on a sob of wind, which gutters the candles almost to swaling.

The fire flutters and drops. Drip--hiss--the rain never stops.

He shuts the door. The rushes fall again to stillness along the floor.

Outside, the wind goes wailing.

The velvet coverlet of the wide bed is smooth and cold. Above,

in the firelight, winks the coronet of tarnished gold. The knight shivers

in his coat of fur, and holds out his hands to the withering flame.

She is always the same, a sweet coquette. He will wait for her.

How the log hisses and drips! How warm and satisfying will be her lips!

It is wide and cold, the state bed; but when her head lies under the coronet,

and her eyes are full and wet with love, and when she holds out her arms,

and the velvet counterpane half slips from her, and alarms

her trembling modesty, how eagerly he will leap to cover her, and blot himself

beneath the quilt, making her laugh and tremble.

Is it guilt to free a lady from her palsied lord, absent and fighting,

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