Mandragora/Mortmain

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Mandragora by John Cowper Powys
Mortmain
Published in Mandragora (1917)

GREY and ghostly cypresses
   Meet above our bed.
That is surely why she presses
   Close to me her head.

Dead are we. Be quite at rest!
   There can be no harm
If across what was her breast
   I should lay my arm.

She was never very brave,
   And these damned trees
A most evil whisper have
   In the midnight breeze.

Close she clings with body thin;
   She was always slender;
Do you hold it a deep sin,
   Buried, to be tender?

She is frightened, she would say,
   But her lips have gone —
Curse you! Look the other way.
   Read our burial-stone!

What? She brought me to this pass?
   Brought me to this place?
Oh, it may be! Turn the glass.
   She had a lovely face.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1963, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 50 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.