Poems (Coates 1916)/Volume I/Cruel Love—Anacreontic

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For other versions of this work, see Cruel Love.


I LOOKED from out my window once
And saw Love standing there;
No cloak had he to cover him,
His dimpled feet were bare,
And fast and chill the snowflakes fell
On his ambrosial hair.

He lifted up to mine a face
Filled with celestial light;
Fond, fond with pity grew my heart
To see his hapless plight,
And down I sped to offer him
Warm shelter for the night:—

"Come in, come in, thou tender child,
A wanderer from thine own!
Hath all the world abandoned thee,
That thou art thus alone?
Come in, come in! that straightway I
For others may atone!"

I took his icy hand in mine,—
Why swifter throbbed each vein?
Was it the impulse of my blood
To ease his frozen pain?—
Yet still his lips refused to smile,
Still fell his tears like rain.

Bashful he seemed, as half inclined
To shiver there apart:
I led him closer to the fire,
I drew him to my heart:
Ah, cruel Love! my trustful breast
He wounded with a dart!

Ah, cruel Love! He smiled at last—
A wondrous smile to see!
And passing from my sheltering door,
With step alert and free,
He took my warmth, my joy with him,—
His tears he left to me!