Dora Sigerson Shorter (Дора Сигерсон Шортер)

The Blow Returned

I struck you once, I do remember well.
   Hard on the track of passion sorrow sped,
And swift repentance, weeping for the blow;
   I struck you once—and now you’re lying dead!

Now you are gone the blow no longer sleeps
   In your forgiveness hushed through all the years;
But like a phantom haunts me through the dark,
   To cry “You gave your own belovèd tears.”

Stript now of all excuses, stern and stark,
   With all your small transgressings dimmed or fled,
The ghost returns the blow upon my heart
   I struck you once—and now you’re lying dead.

Dora Sigerson Shorter’s other poems:

  1. The Rape of the Baron’s Wine
  2. When You Are on the Sea
  3. The Fairy Changeling
  4. My Neighbour’s Garden
  5. Unknown Ideal

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