Tom (goliard) wrote,

The Parting

‘Well, shall we on?’ said the head of a party
Of gnomes and of sprites that had stolen my heart
In a bag, and were riding off into those woods
Where they only may tread who are lovers of Art.

‘What are you waiting for? Don’t stand there yawning
And sniffling as if we had done you some wrong
To carry your heart from the Prosaic Plains
To the woods where we live, and enchant it with song.’

But I sighed and I moaned, and I said to the leader,
‘It’s all well for you: you’re a light-footed elf
With no load but your hat and your sandals to bear:
I am not so unburdened: I carry a Self.’

‘Leave it in the bushes!’ he cried. ‘It’ll be there
The day you return (that’s if ever you do);
And it won’t be the worse for the waiting, you know, for
If you’re tired of it, it’s no less sick of you.’

But I groaned and I grumbled, and said I was feeling
Unwell at the moment and must be excused,
But that if they would kindly return me my heart
I’d come back the next day. – Said the gnome, much amused,

‘Well, have it your own way! If you think that moping’s
A greater delight than the music of elves
And the dancing of dryads, we’ll leave you to sulk here:
But as for this heart, we claim that for ourselves.’

And he gave a shrill whistle between his two fingers
And then in the blink of an eye they were gone:
And nothing remained but a trail of my heart’s blood
That the bag, dripping crimson, had left on the lawn.
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