Armed

By Violet Jacob

    Give me to-night to hide me in the shade,
        That neither moon nor star
    May see the secret place where I am laid,
        Nor watch me from afar.

    Let not the dark its prying ghosts employ
        To peer on my retreat,
    And see the fragments of my broken toy
        Lie scattered at my feet.

    I fashioned it, that idol of my own,
        Of metal strange and bright;
    I made my toy a god – I raised a throne
        To honour my delight.

    This haunted byway of the grove was lit
        With lamps my hand had trimmed,
    Before the altar in the midst of it
        I kept their flame undimmed.

    My steps turned ever to the hidden shrine;
        Aware or unaware,
    My soul dwelt only in that spot divine,
        And now a wreck lies there.

    Give me to-night to weep – when dawn is spread
        Beyond the heavy trees,
    And in the east the day is heralded
        By cloud-wrought companies,

    I shall have gathered up my heart’s desire,
        Broken, destroyed, adored,
    And from its splinters, in a deathless fire,
        I shall have forged a sword.

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