Enough to dazzle that from his sight.

There were moments when he groaned to see

His life spilled out so uselessly,

Begging for boons the Shade refused,

His finest workmanship abused,

The iridescent bubbles he blew

Into lovely existence, poor and few

In the shadowed eyes. Then he would curse

Himself and her! The Universe!

And more, the beauty he could not make,

And give her, for her comfort's sake!

He would beat his weary, empty hands

Upon the table, would hold up strands

Of silver and gold, and ask her why

She scorned the best which he could buy.

He would pray as to some high-niched saint,

That she would cure him of the taint

Of failure. He would clutch the wall

With his bleeding fingers, if she should fall

He could catch, and hold her, and make her live!

With sobs he would ask her to forgive

All he had done. And broken, spent,

He would call himself impertinent;

Presumptuous; a tradesman; a nothing; driven

To madness by the sight of Heaven.

At other times he would take the things

He had made, and winding them on strings,

Hang garlands before her, and burn perfumes,

Chanting strangely, while the fumes

Wreathed and blotted the shadow face,

As with a cloudy, nacreous lace.

There were days when he wooed as a lover, sighed

In tenderness, spoke to his bride,

Urged her to patience, said his skill

Should break the spell. A man's sworn will

Could compass life, even that, he knew.

By Christ's Blood! He would prove it true!

The edge of the Shadow never blurred.

The lips of the Shadow never stirred.

He would climb on chairs to reach her lips,

And pat her hair with his finger-tips.

But instead of young, warm flesh returning

His warmth, the wall was cold and burning

Like stinging ice, and his passion, chilled,

Lay in his heart like some dead thing killed

At the moment of birth. Then, deadly sick,

He would lie in a swoon for hours, while thick

Phantasmagoria crowded his brain,

And his body shrieked in the clutch of pain.

The crisis passed, he would wake and smile

With a vacant joy, half-imbecile

And quite confused, not being certain

Why he was suffering; a curtain

Fallen over the tortured mind beguiled

His sorrow. Like a little child

He would play with his watches and gems, with glee

Calling the Shadow to look and see

How the spots on the ceiling danced prettily

When he flashed his stones. "Mother, the green

Has slid so cunningly in between

The blue and the yellow. Oh, please look down!"

Then, with a pitiful, puzzled frown,

He would get up slowly from his play

And walk round the room, feeling his way

From table to chair, from chair to door,

Stepping over the cracks in the floor,

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