Babette Deutsch





What's Past Is Prologue

An April Paris brought again 
The sweet selfish stingless pain 
Of younger springtimes, ignorant of 
The poverty of proven love. 
Evening, moving through the heat 
And dust of the bright noisy street, 
As one half goddess and half whore 
Waited at the open door. 
Laying quiet on the air 
Like a fresco's floating hair, 
She squeezed the heart as milkmaids squeeze 
The udder caught against their knees. 
Evening passed, and night came on, 
Lighting softly, one by one, 
Stars like arc-lamps in a town 
Viewed from an airship upside down. 
Night came on, who had no share 
In pain that is unmixed with care, 
The pain of springtimes ignorant of 
The poverty of love.