Collected Poems
Be never sorry that my love took off
That horrid hair to make your face at last
A human fact. Since I have had your name
To dream of and say over to myself,
The visitations of that awful beard
Have been a terror for my nights and days
For twenty years. I ' ve seen it like an ocean,
Blown seven ways at once and wrecking ships,
With men and women screaming for their lives;
I ' ve seen it woven into shining ladders
That ran up out of sight and so to heaven,
All covered with white ghosts with hanging robes
Like folded wings, and there were millions of them,
Climbing, climbing, climbing, all the time;
And all the time that I was watching them
I thought how far above me Merlin was,
And wondered always what his face was like.
But even then, as a child, I knew the day
Would come some time when I should see his face
And hear his voice, and have him in my house
Till he should care no more to stay in it,
And go away to found another kingdom. "
" Not that, " he said; and, sighing, drank more wine;
" One kingdom for one Merlin is enough. "
" One Merlin for one Vivian is enough, "
She said. " If you care much, remember that;
But the Lord knows how many Vivians
One Merlin ' s entertaining eye might favor,
Indifferently well and all at once,
If they were all at hand. Praise heaven they ' re not. "
" If they were in the world praise heaven they ' re not
And if one Merlin ' s entertaining eye
Saw two of them, there might be left him then
The sight of no eye to see anything