Collected poems, 1901-1918 (Vol. 2)/The Supper

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A WOLF he pricks with eyes of fire
Across the night's o'ercrusted snows.
Seeking his prey,
He pads his way
Where Jane benighted goes,
Where Jane benighted goes.

He curdles the bleak air with ire,
Ruffling his hoary raiment through,
And lo! he sees
Beneath the trees
Where Jane's light footsteps go,
Where Jane's light footsteps go.

No hound peals thus in wicked joy,
He snaps his muzzle in the snows,
His five-clawed feet
Do scamper fleet
Where Jane's bright lanthorn shows,
Where Jane's bright lanthorn shows.
Now his greed's green doth gaze unseen
On a pure face of wilding rose,
Her amber eyes

In fear's surprise
Watch largely as she goes,
Watch largely as she goes.

Salt wells his hunger in his jaws,
His lust it revels to and fro,
Yet small beneath
A soft voice saith,
"Jane shall in safety go,
Jane shall in safety go."

He lurched as if a fiery lash
Had scourged his hide, and through and through
His furious eyes
O'erscanned the skies,
But nearer dared not go,
But nearer dared not go.

He reared like wild Bucephalus,
His fangs like spears in him uprose,
Even to the town
Jane's flitting gown
He grins on as she goes,
He grins on as she goes.

In fierce lament he howls amain,
He scampers, marvelling in his throes
What brought him there
To sup on air,
While Jane unharmèd goes,
While Jane unharmèd goes.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1925.

The author died in 1956, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 60 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.