(for Emma Giering)
To answer thy best pleasure; be’t to fly,
To Swim, to dive into the fire, to ride
On the curl’d clouds—to thy strong bidding task
So many years ingrained by Sycorax,
I lost my voice, abandoned all desire
To ride the clouds or dive into the fire,
Where, light as ashes, I would ply my tricks
Of music to make all creation sing.
Coy birds and sunsets mocked me with their art.
Beyond the surf, I heard the buoys ring
Those foggy nights, when all my limbs would hurt,
Beknotted, as they were, in cloven pine.
And always I looked outward to the sea—
The violent sea, the wracked and wretched sea—
And waited for some augury or sign
That someone might release me from my fate.
And then you came. Marooned by your own storms,
You huddled in the circle of your arms
And, waiting for the howling to abate,
By chance looked up and saw me prisoned there.
I startled, overthrown by that first look,
And stirred to life by kindness and your care
Felt arias arising in the dark.
My saving dear, by this song may you know
That moved by fancy many storms ago
You touched my tears of pitch and taking pity
Raised up your staff of love and set me free.