All round they murmur, ‘O profane,
Keep thy heart’s secret hid as gold’;
But I, by God, would sooner be
Some knight in shattering wars of old,
In brown outlandish arms to ride,
And shout my love to every star
With lungs to make a poor maid’s name
Deafen the iron ears of war.
Here, where these subtle cowards crowd,
To stand and so to speak of love,
That the four corners of the world
Should hear it and take heed thereof.
That to this shrine obscure there be
One witness before all men given,
As naked as the hanging Christ,
As shameless as the sun in heaven.
These whimperers–have they spared to us
One dripping woe, one reeking sin?
These thieves that shatter their own graves
To prove the soul is dead within.
They talk; by God, is it not time
Some of Love’s chosen broke the girth,
And told the good all men have known
Since the first morning of the earth?