“Farewell?” No, not farewell, I’ll worship ever
Thy form divine.
No death’s despair, no voice of doom shall sever
My heart from thine.
Thou’st crowned me with they love and bade me wear it,
I kiss the shrine.
I will not give thee up, nay, here I swear it,
That thou art mine.
A desecrated holiness is o’er me,
I’ve held the Thyrsus cup;
I’ve dared the thunderbolts of Heaven for thee,
I will not give up.
And thou pale tape light, by whose fast-dying flame I write
these words-the last my hand shall pen-farewell! What is’t to
die? To be shut in a dungeon’s walls and starved to death? She
knows, and soon will I. She sought to learn of me, and I to teach
to her, the mystery of life. Ha, ha! Who claimed her by the
church’s law has given us both to learn the mystery of death.
What was’t I loved? The eyes that thrilled me through and through
with their magnetic subtlety? They’re there, set on my face; but
where’s their lifened light? What was’t I loved? The mouth whose
coral redness I have buried in my own? ‘Tis there, shrunk ‘gainst
two rows of dead pale pearls, and cold and colorless as lip of
statue carved of marble. Was it the form whose perfect outline
stamped it with divinity? It’s there, but ‘reft of all its
winsome roundness, and stiffening in the chill of death. It makes
me cold to look upon its rigidness. But just this hour the breath
went out; was’t that I loved? ‘Twas this I clasped and kissed.
What is it that we’ve christened love, that glamours men to
madness, and stains with falsehood virgin purity? It made this
grewsome charnel vault a part of Heaven-the graves there of
those murdered knaves made rests of roses for our heads; it made
him spring the bolt and lock us in. Where is the creed’s
foundation? I’ve shrived a thousand souls-I cannot now absolve
my own. To quench this awful thirst, I cut an artery in my arm
and sucked its blood. The thirstness did not cease. They lied.
‘Twas not the vultures at Prometeus’ heart, ’twas hunger at his
vitals gnawed. The salt drops that I swallowed from that vein
have set my brain on fire. What’s that? The ground’s a-tremble
‘neath my feet as touched with life. Earth, rend your breast and
let me in! For anything but this dire darkness, made alive with
vengeful eye-balls-his eyes! They glare with hate at me. I heard
him laugh but now. For anything but this most loving corpse whose
head caressing rests it on my feet. Ah, no, I did not mean it
thus; I would not get away alone. I loved that corpse. It was the
sweetest bit of human frailty that to man e’er brought a blessing
or a curse. I turned from Dias’ holy grail to taste its nectar.
Hell, throw a-wide your sulphur-blazoned gates, I’ll grasp it in
my arms and make the plunge! Hist! what was that? I heard him
laugh again. Laugh, fiend, you cannot hurt me more. Ah! Reyenita,
mine in life you were, in death you shall be mine. When this
clogged blood has stopped the wheels of life, I’ll put my arms
around your neck, I’ll lay my face against your frozen one, and
thus I’ll die. When this foul place has crumbled to the sunlight,
some relic-hunting lunatic will stumble o’er our bones, and
pitiless will weave a tale for eyes more pitiless to read. Back,
Stygian ghoul! Death’s on me now. I feel his rattle in my throat!
My limbs are blocks of ice! My heart has tuned it with the
muffled dead-march drum! A jar of crashing worlds is in my ears!
A drowsy faintness creeps upon-
The seal is broken, the mystery tell;
You have read the letters, what do they tell?
Do they tell you the story they told that day
To me, in the Mission old and gray-
The Mission Carmel at Monterey?
(Madge Morris Wagner)
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Based on Keywords: a-tremble, desecrated, ghoul, thyrsus, monterey, sanson, roundness, grewsome, glamours, heaven-the, shrived
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