I have robbed the garrulous streets,
Thieved a fair girl from their blight,
I have stolen her for a sacrifice
That I shall make to this mysteried night.
I have brought her, laughing,
To my quietly sinister garden.
For what will be done there
I ask no man’s pardon.
I brush the rouge from her cheeks,
Clean the black kohl from the rims
Of her eyes; loose her hair;
Uncover the glimmering, shy limbs.
I break wild roses, scatter them over her.
The thorns between us sing like love’s pain.
Her flesh, bitter and salt to my tongue,
I taste with endless kisses and taste again.
At dawn I leave her
Asleep in my wakening garden
(For what was done there
I ask no man’s pardon.)
From On a Grey Thread (Will Ransom, 1923) by Elsa Gidlow. This poem is in the public domain.