To Love Impuissant
Love, though for this you riddle me with darts,
And drag me at your chariot till I die—
Oh, heavy prince! oh, panderer of hearts!—
Yet hear me tell how in their throats they lie
Who shout you mighty: thick about my hair,
Day in, day out, your ominous arrows purr,
Who still am free, unto no querulous care
A fool, and in no temple worshipper.
I, that have bared me to your quiver’s fire,
Lifted my face into its puny rain,
Do wreathe your Impotent to Evoke Desire
As you are Powerless to Elicit Pain!
(Now will the god, for blasphemy so brave,
Punish me, surely, with the shaft I crave!)
"To Love Impuissant" was published in The Dial, Volume 68, in 1920. This poem is in the public domain.