Forgiveness

By Muriel Stuart

ASK not my pardon! For if one hath need
Once to forgive the god that he hath raised,
No further creed
Can that god give; but ‘neath the soul who praised
Lies bruisèd like a reed.

Let your dark plume, in passing leave a stain
On my plume’s whiteness: call you bitter, sweet:
Give plague, or pain:
But cringe not, fallen and fawning at my feet,
By that to rise again.

No! go your wild and mad way, and seem at least
The god you were . . . assume your aureole:
Make me no priest
To wash hands in the waters of your soul,
Before I go to feast!

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