Verse
Adelaide Crapsey

BIRTH-MOMENT

Behold her,
Running through the waves,
Eager to reach the land:
The water laps her,
Sun and wind are on her,
Healthy, brine-drenched and young,
Behold Desire new-born;—
Desire on first fulfilment's radiant edge,
Love at miraculous moment of emergence,
This is she,
Who running,
Hastens, hastens to the land.
Look…Look…
Her brown gold hair and lucent eyes of youth,
Her body rose and ivory in the sun…
Look,
How she hastens,
Running, running to the land.
Her hands are yearning and her feet are swift
To reach and hold
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She knows not what,
Yet knows that it is life;
Need urges her,
Self, uncomprehended but most deep divined,
Unwilled but all-compelling, drives her on.
Life runs to life.
She who longs,
But hath not yet accepted or bestowed,
All virginal dear and bright,
Runs, runs to reach the land.
And she who runs shall be
Married to blue of summer skies at noon,
Companion to green fields,
Held bride of subtle fragrance and of all sweet sound,
Belovéd of the stars,
And wanton mistress to the veering winds.
Oh, breathless space between:
Womb-time just passed,
Dark-hidden, chaotic-formative, unpersonal,
And individual life of fresh-created force
Not yet begun:
One moment more
Before desire shall meet desire
And new creation start:
Oh breathless space,
While she,
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Just risen from the waves,
Runs, runs to reach the land.
(Ah, keenest personal moment
When mouth unkissed turns eager-slow and tremulous
Towards lover's mouth,
That tremulous and eager-slow
Droops down to it:
But breathless space of breath or two
Lies in between
Before the mouth upturned and mouth down-drooped
Shall meet and make the kiss.)
Look…Look…
She runs…
Love fresh-emerged,
Desire new-born…
Blown on by wind,
And shone on by the sun,
She rises from the waves
And running,
Hastens, hastens to the land.
Belovéd and Belovéd and Belovéd,
Even so right
And beautiful and undenied
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Is my desire;
Even so longing-swift
I run to your receiving arms.
O Aphrodite!
O Aphrodite, hear!
Hear my wrung cry flame upward poignant-glad....
This is my time for me.
I too am young;
I too am all of love!

1905.