new zealand electronic poetry centre

Lola Ridge

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I await you: hath the rain-drift,
      Sweeping fiercely from the sea,
Met you out across the plain-drift –
      Barred you, blown you back from me?

And does Dusk, the half-breed, cover
      The long, twisted track we know
(For a man may seek his lover)
      Where the velvet mosses grow,

And the trailing ferns unravel?
      (Must a woman stand and wait?)
Hark! a step upon the gravel,
      And the clanging of a gate!

No, ’twas but the storm-wind’s laughter
      In the grey gum’s boughs aloof,
Or the straining of a rafter
      And the rain-drops on the roof.

I know that the twilight holds you
      Somewhere in its great grey space;
That the wild, wet wind enfolds you
      As it blows upon my face.

And mayhap your eyes are meeting
      Other eyes they leap to meet –
If they seek not mine in greeting,
      Then I care not whose they greet!

Now the Night has traced her finger
      O’er the plain’s dim, blotted chart,
And the crawling moments linger
      With their hoof-beats on my heart.

Mayhap ’tis a needless sorrow
      O’er some little dull delay,
I may hear you tell to-morrow,
      And laugh at this weary day.


‘Waiting,’ Bulletin 28 Jan 1904: 3. ML.
See also Verses 1905: [56-57].

Last updated 28 May, 2013