Love bade me welcome, but my soul drew back,
Seeking another door,
A dwelling off the beaten track
More homely than I had found before,
A place where I could simply sit and rest,
Be neither worst nor best.
Long did I wander, but I found no rest,
Though many roads I trod;
Each hearth was colder than the last
And I missed Love, whom I had thought my God,
Who yet had stayed behind,
Or was nowhere I could find.
Weary I paused at last where soft red flowers grew
Out of the black mud of a river bank,
And there again the Love I thought I knew
Drew near, and from his cup I drank.
Said he, “Now take this cup that you may fill
“And offer it, with love, to whom you will.”
Lonely, I filled this cup with all my bitter woe–
But who would wish to share?
Then one arose from out the water’s flow
With vines and flowers in his curling hair;
His flesh was radiant as a star
Without a blemish, wound, or scar.
“If you will share,” said he, “then I will drink,”
And smiling took the cup from me,
All bitter as it was; I could not think
Who might this beauty be, yet he
Then offered me a draught, and it was sweet;
I bent and kissed Love’s feet.