Louise Bogan





The Dream

O God, in the dream the terrible horse began 
To paw at the air, and make for me with his blows. 
Fear kept for thirty-five years poured through his mane. 
And retribution equally old, or nearly, breathed through 
       his nose. 

Coward complete, I lay and wept on the ground 
When some strong creature appeared, and leapt for the 
       rein. 
Another woman, as I lay half in a swound, 
Leapt in the air, and clutched at the leather and chain. 

Give him, she said, something of yours as a charm. 
Throw him, she said, some poor thing you alone claim. 
No, no, I cried, he hates me; he's out for harm, 
And whether I yield or not, it is all the same. 

But, like a lion in a legend, when I flung the glove 
Pulled from my sweating, my cold right hand, 
The terrible beast, that no one may understand, 
Came to my side, and put down his head in love.