Michael Field

"Michael Field" is the pseudonym of Katharine Bradley (1846-1913) and her niece, Edith Cooper (1862-1914).

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From Baudelaire

There shall be beds full of light odours blent,
Divans, great couches, deep, profound as tombs,
And frown for us, in light magnificent,
Over the flower-stand there shall droop strange blooms.

Careful of their last flame declining,
As two vast torches our two hearts shall flare,
And our two spirits in their double shining
Reflect the double lights enchanted there.

One night--A night of mystic blue, of rose,
A look will pass supreme from me, from you,
Like a long sob, laden with long adieux.

And, later on, an angel will unclose
The door, and, entering joyously, re-light
The tarnished mirrors and the flames blown to the night.

The Poet

Within his eyes are hung lamps of the sanctuary:
A wind, from whence none knows, can set in sway
And spill their light by fits; but yet their ray
Returns, deep-boled, to its obscurity.

The world as from a dullard turns annoyed
To stir the days with show or deeds or voices;
But if one spies him justly one rejoices,
With silence that the careful lips avoid.

He is a plan, a work of some strange passion
Life has conceived apart from Time's harsh drill,
A thing it hides and cherishes to fashion.

At odd bright moments to its secret will:
Holy and foolish, ever set apart,
He waits the leisure of his god's free heart.

A Dying Viper

The lethargy of evil in her eyes--
As blue snow is the substance of a mere
Where the dead waters of a glacier drear
Stand open and behold--a viper lies.

Brooding upon her hatreds: dying thus
Wounded and broken, helpless with her fangs,
She dies of her sealed curse, yea, of her pangs
At God's first ban that made her infamous.

Yet, by that old curse frozen in her wreath,
She, like a star, hath central gravity
That draws and fascinates the soul to death;

While round her stark and terrible repose,
Vaults for its hour a glittering sapphire fly,
Mocking the charm of death. O God, it knows!