Page:The torrent and The night before.djvu/52

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—42—

I’m partly a man—for all my weakness,—
If weakness it were to stand and murder
Before men's eyes the man who had murdered
Me, and driven my burning forehead
With horns for the world to laugh at . . . Trust me!—
And try to believe my words but a portion
Of what God's purpose made me!—The coward
Within me cries for this;—and I beg you
Now, as I come to the end, to remember
That women and men are on earth to travel
All on a different road. Hereafter
The roads may meet . . . I trust in something—
I know not what . . .
Well, this was the way of it:—
Stung with the shame and the secret fury
That comes to the man who has thrown his pittance
Of self at a traitor's feet, I wandered
Weeks and weeks in a battled frenzy,
Till at last the devil spoke. I heard him,
And laughed at the love that strove to touch me—
The dead, lost love;—and I gripped the demon
Close to my breast, and held him, praising
The fates and the furies that gave me the courage
To follow his wild command.—Forgetful
Of all to come when the work was over—
There came to me then no stony vision
Of these three hundred days—I cherished
An awful joy in my brain. I pondered
And weighed the thing in my mind, and gloried
In life to think that I was to conquer
Death at his own dark door,—and chuckled
To think of it done so cleanly.—One evening
I knew that my time had come. I shuddered
A little, but rather for doubt than terror,
And followed him—led by the nameless devil
I worshipped and called my brother.—The city
Shone like a dream that night: the windows
Flashed with a piercing flame, and the pavements