Helen of Troy and Other Poems/The Princess in the Tower

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Helen of Troy and Other Poems  (1911) 
Sara Teasdale
The Princess in the Tower
G. P. Putnam's sons pages 29-30

THE PRINCESS IN THE TOWER

I

The Princess sings:

I am the princess up in the tower,
 And I dream the whole day thro'
Of a knight who shall come with a silver spear
 And a waving plume of blue.


I am the princess up in the tower,
 And I dream my dreams by day,
But sometimes I wake, and my eyes are wet,
 When the dusk is deep and gray.


For the peasant lovers go by beneath,
 I hear them laugh and kiss,
And I forget my day-dream knight,
 And long for a love like this.


II

The Minstrel sings:

I lie beside the princess' tower,
 So close she cannot see my face,
And watch her dreaming all day long,
 And bending with a lily's grace.


Her cheeks are paler than the moon
 That sails along a sunny sky,
And yet her silent mouth is red
 Where tender words and kisses lie.


I am a minstrel with a harp.
 For love of her my songs are sweet,
And yet I dare not lift the voice
 That lies so far beneath her feet.


III

The Knight sings:

O princess cease your dreams awhile
 And look adown your tower's gray side—
The princess gazes far away,
 Nor hears nor heeds the words I cried.


Perchance my heart was overbold,
 God made her dreams too pure to break,
She sees the angels in the air
 Fly to and fro for Mary's sake.


Farewell, I mount and go my way,
 —But oh her hair the sun sifts thro'—
The tilts and tourneys wait my spear,
 I am the Knight of the Plume of Blue.