“Take me and save me, be my defender,
Hide me away.”
She from my old foe bid me befriend her.
How could I stay?
Here was revenge for the old bitter wronging,
Here to my hand;
Here was the love of my life—of my longing,
Could I withstand?
Thrice did I turn to fly from my danger,
God judge me true,
Vowed that my love to her love was a stranger.
This did I do.
But when I looked on her, heard her calling,
Kneeling so low,
There the sun's sheen on golden locks falling.
How could I go?
“Dearly beloved, shaken with sorrow,
Branded with blows.
Which way does honour lie? think! for to-morrow
Only God knows!”
One man should use her so: he in whose keeping
Broken she lay;
One man should love her so, see her there weeping.
And turn away.
He were inhuman. Riding behind me
Home did she speed.
Which way did honour lie? Love did so blind me,
Great was her need.
There at my door did I linger awhile
Tending my horse,
Saw her flit up the long steps, and her smile
Bore no remorse.
Page:The Collected Poems of Dora Sigerson Shorter.djvu/33
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MY LADY'S SLIPPER