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A Ballad of the Heart’s Bounty

By Laurence Alma Tadema

“WHAT shines at my window out there in the night?”
    Said she then:”For you is the Lamp that I bear . . .”
    But his pillow was bright with the mist of gold hair,
And he answered:”I have my light.”

“Who stands at my door on the edge of the mere?”
    Said she then: “The Jewel I bring is for you . . .”
    But his cheek touched the lashes, the veiled eyes were blue,
And he answered: “My gems are here.”

“Who sings in the dark when the woods are mute?”
    Said she then: “This Music is yours to keep . . .”
    But sweet is the sound of low laughter in sleep,
And he answered: “I need no lute.”

At New Day he rose, for the bed’s warmth was gone,
    But Death had smiled first in the face that he sought . . .
    Her white fingers yielded the gifts she had brought,
And he fled to the hills alone.

MLA citation:

Tadema, Laurence Alma. “A Ballad of the Heart’s Bounty.” The Yellow Book, vol. 9, April 1896, p. 85. Yellow Book Digital Edition, edited by Dennis Denisoff and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, 2010-2014. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2020.