THE MAGIC MIRROR
Dark void, are you as constant as that pearl
Of evening, who conceals her torrid flesh
In silver, as she conjures Love to hurl
One hollow dart, to core my heart afresh?
And since her archer is a handsome boy,
Who tempts me to him with a golden laugh,
Through crystal — will the Queen become his toy,
The cruelest of them all, his better half?
I searched for Beauty and the voice of Truth,
But found the glitter of a mirrored ball:
A bauble flashing scenes of joy and youth
More potent than the mirror on the wall,
For Love is both the apple and the glass;
How sweet to see our anguish as we pass.
RED, WHITE, AND BLACK
His eyes were blue as shadows on the snow,
Snow-white his skin; his hair like ravens’ wings,
But still more lovely was the ruby glow
Of blood, fit to beget a race of kings.
What happened then? He died, and took the light.
That darkness made me rotten to the core.
He was the regal father of Snow White —
I cannot bear to see her any more.
The sun sheds fire on mountain, rock, and tree;
Without my lord, I am no longer whole.
A fountain in my arms, his memory —
A tattered flag that still commands the soul
To weave a robe of night around this pain;
I call my ravens, call to him in vain.
There is no other victory than this;
There is no other sweet, no other wine;
We share a bite of apple, and a kiss,
My hand upon his neck, his mouth to mine!
He sought her in a cottage, in the wild;
He loved the Snow-Maid, but found me instead.
Why should he waste his magic on a child?
A mighty man, for such a little bed!
Yes, he would rather love than fight, this prince,
With lips upon my lips — to stop his breath.
So pliant and so easy to convince,
One ecstasy, and then the Sleep of Death;
But first, he turns blind eyes towards the wall,
Knowing I was the fairest of them all!
Was such a flawless diamond ever mined?
A porcelain man, thought they — so fair of face,
No living features could be that refined,
And so, they locked him in a crystal case.
Snow White has fled, to seek her own renown,
And now, the Seven Dwarves must deal with me.
Trembling, they turn the cottage upside down:
Damn it, you little bastards, find that key!
His skin is like the snow — his hair of flax
Catches the candlelight’s elusive gold.
Come over here at once, and bring the axe!
Oh, do not let my Prince of Love grow cold,
Or I shall be the one who burns and fades:
A marsh-light, in the company of shades.