by Max Ehrmann
Be careful else you burn the only bridge
That lies between us two. You shall hear more.
I'll spell the words. Oh! with your noble face
How can you be as stupid as a child!
We two shall sadly part some day in death,
I beg, therefore, you listen to my words.
Corona wanders in a joyous world
That is not ours, a world of beauty made;
And if that world be marred, it is her death.
Her love for Michal is- Oh, you, a man,
How can you understand a woman's love!
A thousand, thousand times more dear that love
Than your desire for my own chastity.
He is the balmy summer air she breathes,
Her consolation by the winter fire;
And in the night she sleeps within his arms;
And once she told me that he wakened her
With kisses on her lips each breaking morn.
And you, O brother, you would this destroy!
For think of him the Michal of her dreams,
And him the Michal that we daily see;
(MICHAL has entered at back, and stands unobseroed.
His face is terrible to behold.)
The ugly pot the potter marred in making,
The face bedaubed with scarlet marks from birth.
Oh! often have I looked upon his face,
And gone without and spat to purge myself;
As if the goodly air we both did breathe
Were poisoned by his breath. If he by chance
Did touch me with his lips, some lapse in nature
Would my flesh derange with torturing pain,
Like women who are slighted in their birth.
Last updated April 21, 2023