I felt the lurch and halt of her heart
Next my breast, where my own heart was beating;
And I laughed to feel it plunge and bound,
And strange in my blood-swept ears was the sound
Of the words I kept repeating,
Repeating with tightened arms, and the hot blood's blindfold art.
Her breath flew warm against my neck,
Warm as a flame in the close night air;
And the sense of her clinging flesh was sweet
Where her arms and my neck's blood-surge could meet.
Holding her thus, did I care
That the black night hid her from me, blotted out every speck?
I leaned me forward to find her lips,
And claim her utterly in a kiss,
When the lightning flew across her face,
And I saw her for the flaring space
Of a second, afraid of the clips
Of my arms, inert with dread, wilted in fear of my kiss.
A moment, like a wavering spark,
Her face lay there before my breast,
Pale love lost in a snow of fear,
And guarded by a glittering tear,
And lips apart with dumb cries;
A moment, and she was taken again in the merciful dark.
I heard the thunder, and felt the rain,
And my arms fell loose, and I was dumb.
Almost I hated her, she was so good.
Hated myself, and the place, and my blood,
Which burned with rage, as I bade her come
Home, away home, ere the lightning floated forth again.