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Of waving branches to each other. For themselves, they have a way of nodding pleasantly. Also of trying on dresses near a rain glass or a snow glass. Also of staying where they happen to be. There are folk who doubt whether they care at all. It would be mean though To censure trees—they're trees. [The lovers come running upon the scene, he chasing her. He throws the basket aside; buttercups fall out.] What animals you are!— Or whether you are Animals, I am too dumb to tell. Some moments, I feel you've come out of the earth, Out of some cool white stone deep down in the earth. Or there brushes past and lurks in a corner The thought that you slipped from a tree When the earth stopped spinning, That a blue shell brought you When the sea tired waltzing. You might be two mice, The dryads of woodpeckers, Or a pure tiny fish dream. You might be something dropped from the sky; Not god-children—I wouldn't have you that— Nor clouds, though I love clouds. You're something not birds, I can tell. If I could find you somewhere outside.

Of me, I might tell— But inside? [The boy catches the girl; she no longer resists; he kisses her.] Said the Mother: She is lovely. Her mouth is red. Give her a kiss— She wants it. - e And when you are through— Give her another! But you don't understand?— Why should you? [Exhausted, the girl draws away. The boy reluctantly builds her a throne of fallen leaves. She sits down; he hands her the buttercups, and some colored scarfs.] Do not make her so happy That when the time comes to make her unhappy She will be so unhappy she will die, lad. Can't you be cross with her? Can't you fail to bring her those buttercups? Can't you twang somewhere else now and then? She'll love you the more? Then hers is the crime if she dies! It isn’t 2 Whose is it? Better make her unhappy at once!. You can’t 2 Well— I don't know what you should do

[graphic]

[The girl, possibly sated with attention, stretches out on the leaves. The boy watches her; comes closer; seems doubtful; stops. Then he sits down near her. Something holds him still; something else draws him still closer.] She wears no scarf over her hair, No mask over her eyes, over her mouth. Nor do you ask her to: thus, you love her. Nor do you see veils round her breasts, Veils down her limbs. Ask you to? I speak to a stone. You love her, thus . . . [The girl is startled. The boy touches her. She looks at him, rouses herself, gets up. He turns aside. She moves away. He does not follow her.] If he were sober He would love you as you wish to be loved, And as he would love you If his muddled thought of you were clear of desire. It is sad that one so young should be drunken so soon, But had you not answered him, Had you not answered him . . I know, I know It wasn't your fault. . . [Slowly the lovers depart in opposite directions.]May the sun blink open your eyes And find the room within all blue, And that tiny broken relic Of the night's unhappiness

Vanish like a moth.
You will see: no bird
Can fly more swiftly away . .

[Interlude.]
Again, under the spell
Of these warm-scented troubadour winds,
Brushing winter's convent with insinuating madrigals,
Those novices, the trees,
Clicking their crooked black needles,
Are knitting lace—is it yellow, is it green?—
Timid in pattern, as clouds are,
What with their dropping of stitches.
Later, grown almost heretic
Through warmth of their own,
Or under the foolish persuasion
That beauty can add to beauty, and hold beauty,
One or two will work in patches of flowers
Once again, the troubadours—
Some sated, some broken-hearted—
Will slip away, and the convent be as before.
Maybe the Mother Superior
Frowns them off. -

[The boy enters, dejectedly. His movements are indeter

minate, but he stops near the willow.]

You are so straight and still—
What does it mean?
Are you concerned in the tops of you now
With sky matters and winter butterflies?

[graphic]

Do not the leaves you colored trouble you longer?
Try and recall!
Try and recall:
Over this path she used to tread her way,
Over there he used to throne them for her:
Green, brown, red, yellow !
Did you look at me?
Did you say something? . . .

[The boy departs. The girl enters, dejectedly. She sits

down near the scattered remains of the throne.]

Girl, is the sap in you tired
That you no longer resist the wind?
Did you feel the rain, -
The rain that was here in the night?
You aren't old—what then?
Another rain may be lighter?
Even if it isn't—no 2 . . .

[A silence.]
She loved her love for him. 9
But ask her how it died, she will cry,
His faults came and stabbed it.
Over the tomb she has scrolled,
“My love for him is dead, but my love lives on.”
And her love carries white flowers
To what was her love for him.

[The second boy enters. He looks at the girl. But as the

figure continues, the boy passes aimlessly through.]

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