Till reaching the table again, her face

Would bring recollection, and no solace

Could balm his hurt till unconsciousness

Stifled him and his great distress.

One morning he threw the street door wide

On coming in, and his vigorous stride

Made the tools on his table rattle and jump.

In his hands he carried a new-burst clump

Of laurel blossoms, whose smooth-barked stalks

Were pliant with sap. As a husband talks

To the wife he left an hour ago,

Paul spoke to the Shadow. "Dear, you know

To-day the calendar calls it Spring,

And I woke this morning gathering

Asphodels, in my dreams, for you.

So I rushed out to see what flowers blew

Their pink-and-purple-scented souls

Across the town-wind's dusty scrolls,

And made the approach to the Market Square

A garden with smells and sunny air.

I feel so well and happy to-day,

I think I shall take a Holiday.

And to-night we will have a little treat.

I am going to bring you something to eat!"

He looked at the Shadow anxiously.

It was quite grave and silent. He

Shut the outer door and came

And leant against the window-frame.

"Dearest," he said, "we live apart

Although I bear you in my heart.

We look out each from a different world.

At any moment we may be hurled

Asunder. They follow their orbits, we

Obey their laws entirely.

Now you must come, or I go there,

Unless we are willing to live the flare

Of a lighted instant and have it gone."

A bee in the laurels began to drone.

A loosened petal fluttered prone.

"Man grows by eating, if you eat

You will be filled with our life, sweet

Will be our planet in your mouth.

If not, I must parch in death's wide drouth

Until I gain to where you are,

And give you myself in whatever star

May happen. O You Beloved of Me!

Is it not ordered cleverly?"

The Shadow, bloomed like a plum, and clear,

Hung in the sunlight. It did not hear.

Paul slipped away as the dusk began

To dim the little shop. He ran

To the nearest inn, and chose with care

As much as his thin purse could bear.

As rapt-souled monks watch over the baking

Of the sacred wafer, and through the making

Of the holy wine whisper secret prayers

That God will bless this labour of theirs;

So Paul, in a sober ecstasy,

Purchased the best which he could buy.

Returning, he brushed his tools aside,

And laid across the table a wide

Napkin. He put a glass and plate

On either side, in duplicate.

Over the lady's, excellent

With loveliness, the laurels bent.

In the centre the white-flaked pastry stood,

And beside it the wine flask. Red as blood

Was the wine which should bring the lustihood

Of human life to his lady's veins.

When all was ready, all which pertains

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