Saturday, February 18, 2012

51. Beneath the Summer Stars

The noisy filibustering
had thrust me out of doors;
there: tucked amidst the silenced hills,
the gypsy toiled away.

Her headdress marked with ancient signs,
magnetic, drew the crowds
exotic eyes aloof and dark,
aflame with prophecy.

And as I took my place by her,
a chill swept through my soul;
the Magyar sat across from me –
our eyes gazed potently.

She swept her skilful hands across,
the Tarok cards alight,
their cryptic symbols wild and strange:
and so she read my fate.

And as you watched me tacitly
the bitter breeze grew sharp,
tormenting my unready skin;
yet how I burned within!

Yes, as the gypsy’s tale had ceased,
I burnt with such a fire,
ignited by my destiny,
in fevered ecstasy.

As night wore on, I sat by you
and stole each glance I could
from those intense Uralic eyes;
they glanced at me so brief –

Despite the coldness of the moon,
which spilled across the steppes
and lit the gypsy’s secret craft,
bright hope had sprung in me;

but though I leapt into the flames,
the Fates could not be moved:
forever am I doomed to live,
recounting such a loss.

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One Art, to recognize, must be,
Another Art to Praise.

- Emily Dickinson