BLACK CAT POEMS
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AROUND a fountain sitting seven princesses,
Sadly their hand upon their chin they leant;
And, while they sang of
, into their tresses
The wavering breeze was blowing jasmine scent.
And one of them would bite the heart of
Another would the flesh of lilies hold:
They knew where secret sense of things uncloses,
And in their voices wept fair days of old.
The landscape was a dream: by fountains pearling
White palaces indented azure skies.
They heard afar off on the shore unfurling
, with a sleepy noise of sighs.
Peacocks on marble balustrades were spreading
Their emerald fans, the sun had climbed noon's steep.
Round was the shadow every
They felt their hands were heavy as in
Around a fountain sitting seven princesses.
Their sweet names faded long since from my mind.
Were they not Blanche, Laura with auburn tresses,
Alix, Maleine, Gertrude, and Rosalind?
The seventh, she had no name. She was the nosegay's
Most radiant flower. And I remember well
She was the goddess of my heart in those days,
With her great eyes green as a mirabelle.
Upon her face was shadow of black laurels.
Some dream of grief was in her: you might note
Her breasts of a wise virgin, tipped with corals,
Lifting with sighs her slender silver throat.
I know not if I kissed her mouth, or followed
Her steps: she was so wedded to her dole.
And yet the land was like a bed out-hollowed,
The sky like azure petals that unroll.
Now I forget. O
of a queen, who
Was ever in tears, O lost beyond recall
In din of cities, have I ever seen you,
Sad singer, you who had no name at all?
Am I not verily a poet stricken
With a dim dream? And, following its flight,
Soothed with an old refrain, while still I sicken,
Learned from a parchment scroll some outwatched night?
Nay, I am certain in my soul's recesses.
--In a far country sweet with jasmine scent,
Around a fountain sitting seven princesses,
Sadly their hand upon their chin they leant.
poems by Stuart Merrill