Mandragora/The Blood

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Published in Mandragora (1917)


I FOUND bright drops of purple blood
Beside a dying faun.
A mushroom-cup had caught that flood
   From the brown body torn.

I took the blood and went apart
   With her whose love I killed.
"Take this and fill with it your heart,
   In place of what I spilled!"

She looked at me out of her pain —
   Sweet saints, on my death-bed
Let me not see that look again!
   Then lightly, lightly she said —

"I take that blood. When we shall meet,"
   And she gave me her mouth to kiss —
"At the White Christ's golden judgment seat,
   I will lie to him of this.

"I will lie to him, the great White Christ,
   About the love you killed.
I will say the brown faun's blood sufficed
   In place of what you spilled."

Softly she turned and left me there.
  And I was left alone;

And her voice came faintly upon the air,
   "A faun's blood shall atone!"

But from where she left me I did not move,
   And never yet have moved.
For I am he that murdered love,
   And yet am I not loved?

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1927.

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.