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Over and back, the long waves crawl and track the sand with foam; night darkens, and the sea takes on that desperate tone of dark that wives put on when all their love is done. Over and back, the tangled thread falls slack, over and up and on; over and all is sewn; now while I bind the end, I wish some fiery friend would sweep impetuously these fingers from the loom. My weary thoughts play traitor to my soul, just as the toil is over; swift while the woof is whole, turn now, my spirit, swift, and tear the pattern there, the flowers so deftly wrought, the borders of sea blue, the sea-blue coast of home. The web was over-fair, that web of pictures there, enchantments that I thought he had, that I had lost; weaving his happiness within the stitching frame, weaving his fire and frame, I thought my work was done, I prayed that only one of those that I had spurned might stoop and conquer this long waiting with a kiss. But each time that I see my work so beautifully inwoven and would keep the picture and the whole, Athene steels my soul. Slanting across my brain, I see as shafts of rain his chariot and his shafts, I see the arrows fall, I see the lord who moves like Hector lord of love, I see him matched with fair bright rivals, and I see those lesser rivals flee.
Hilda Doolittle's other poems:
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