Merlin I could mesh a mantle of flame, to fold you from sight, I could bind you fast with an exquisite girdle of frost

I could mesh a mantle of flame, to fold you from sight,

I could bind you fast with an exquisite girdle of frost,

I could summon the moon to lock you in turrets of light,

At a cost, desire of my eyes, at a shameful cost.

 

Enchantment is easy to weave but I wish you sane,

Submission is easy to force, but I wish you free;

No pity I seek, though your pity is easy to gain,

But your love, desire of my eyes, your love for me:

 

I will use no art you have not power to defy,

I will make no claim you may not set lightly aside,

I will seek no grace you are not free to deny,

For my pride, desire of my eyes, my tormented pride.

 

Then love me, and not for my power, though greater shall never be known,

But for love, desire of my eyes, for my love alone.

 

[17th August 1951]