Spring, 1916 by Isaac Rosenberg

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Slow, rigid, is this masquerade
That passes as through a difficult air :
Heavily-heavily passes.
What has she fed on ? Who her table laid
Through the three seasons ? What forbidden fare
Ruined her as a mortal lass is ?

I played with her two years ago,
Who might be now her own sister in stone;
So altered from her May mien,
When round the pink a necklace of warm snow
Laughed to her throat where my mouth’s touch had gone.
How is this, ruined Queen?

Who lured her vivid beauty so
‘l’o be that strained chill thing that moves
So ghastly midst her young brood
Of pregnant shoots that she for men did grow ?
Where are the strong men who made these their loves ?
Spring ! God pity your mood !

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