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Collected Poems

Tom's a-Cold

page 102

Tom's a-Cold

Where is my love that has no peer,
where wanders she, among what brakes,
along what hillside cold and drear
above the tarns and hollow lakes?
I hear the whirlwind shake the sky,
I feel the worm within me gnaw,
for she is lost, and lost am I,
alone upon my bed of straw.

Beyond the door blasts of black air,
the rain descending on the wind;
I know my love is wandering there
with ragged clothes and hair unpinned.
I shall not lead her through the door
and lay my hand upon her wrist,
O she must roam for evermore
through rain and dark, or moonlit mist.

My love was fairer than the sun,
her breast beneath my hand was warm,
but she has left me all alone
in midmost darkness of the storm.
I hear the sleet upon the thatch,
the thunder by the lightning hurled;
I know she will not lift my latch
before the ending of the world.