Last Night by Mabel Forrest

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Which way did you come? Not by the stair,
But through some ladder of light and air.
Perhaps you swung to the moonflower's disc
By a clinging tendril, and took the risk
Of a moonray's dirk on the balcony
To leave the darkness and climb to me?

Which way did you come? As a trembling ghost,
Your footfall lost in the high wind's boast
As he clapped the boughs of the weeping figs
To an eerie chorus of clashing twigs,
As he bent the grass in the gardens low
To smooth the way for a ghost to go?

How did you signal? In my soul?
Or break through my heart's demure control?
Did you prise the locks of the world apart
To carve a road to a guarded heart?
Did the drawbridge rise when the time was ripe
To the quick command of a fairy pipe?
Did you come, a prince in your jewelled state--
Did you come as a palmer, desolate?

Which way did you come? Who can ever guess?
But your hand on my hand still seems to press
And I turn my pillow, to find again
The little hollow where love has lain.

Through slatted windows a cool sun streams
And the dreams of the night are....only dreams.
Like butterfly blown o'er a desert place
Its wings still wet from a flower's face,
O star that sought for its heaven here,
A hope too wild, for a gift too dear.

Yet, though doors were closed to a mortal's key,
I know last night that you came to me.

First published in The Bulletin, 3 February 1916

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 3, 2014 7:29 AM.

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