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Robert von Ranke Graves
A bitter year it was. What woman ever
Cared for me so, yet so ill-used me,
Came in so close and drew so far away,
So much promised and performed so little,
So murderously her own love dared betray?
Since I can never be slear out of your debt,
Queen of ingratitude, to my dying day,
You shall be punished with a deathless crown
For your dark head, resist it how you may.
A Pinch of Salt
Return of the Goddess
Under your Milky Way
And slow-revolving Bear
Frogs from the alder thicket pray
In terror of your judgement day,
Loud with repentance there.
The log they crowned as king
Grew sodden, lurched and sank;
An owl floats by on silent wing
Dark water bubbles from the spring;
They invoke you from each bank.
At dawn you shall appear,
A gaunt red-legged crane,
You whom they know too well for fear,
Lunging your beak down like a spear
To fetch them home again.
© 2000 Elena and Yacov Feldman