If I speak of The City Beautiful,
she the long-betrothed
to One All-Loved Man,
I cannot speak in measure.
Her peace is all my pleasure.
Lumed in the final solar span
I saw her last, in countless tiny jewels clothed.
They were the waterdrops she lies amid,
for here, within this earthcloud, that man hid
Her, The Beautiful, his treasure.
I think, and shudder, once a day
(since the holy man came and went)
of dragons, and that six-legged Serpent
who swore so long ago to shred her roasted flesh.
How her spires tremble,
her high-hoven halls hush;
a song outsighs,
“At my heart he lies,
yet speaks from far away;
patiently I speed the day.”
Shelter here, you milky lustrous gem.
I am your Beloved’s land, O Loved One, I am true.
My clods are damp and ugly tubers sprout from them,
but every morning I aspire for you:
I breathe aloft a sheltering aerojewel cloud.
If he is yours, you are my reason to be proud.
For your sake, long ago, I was not left to burn.
Untroubled sleep: the all-loved man,
having full unscrolled an ancient plan,
will soon return.