Hazel Hall


I am monogramming
Seven dozen napkins,
With tablecloths to match,
For a bride.

Ninety-one times my needle shall trace
The leaf-like scrolls that interlace
Each other; up the padded side
Of the monogram my eye shall guide
For ninety-one days where the stitches run;
And every day one more is done.

She is tall and fair,
She will be married
In June . . .

The linen is fine as satin is fine;
Its shining coolness flaunts design
Of death-white poppies, trailing ferns
Rioting richly from Grecian urns.

Cold, cold . . .

All these patterned splendours fade
Before the crest my hands have made;
In the lifeless flax my stitches cry
With life my hands may not put by.

June . . .
Real flowers,
Moist and warm to touch,
Like flesh . . .

And by and by with all the rest
Of intimate things in her bridal-chest,
Gentle muslins and secret lace,
Something of mine will have a place;
Caught in these scrolls and filigrees
There will be that which no eye sees,
The bulk of a season’s smothered wonder,
My ninety-one days stitched under and under.

They will be decking an altar
With white roses,
And lacing an aisle
With white ribbon . . .