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I  The Plum Tree

James Reaney


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The Heart and the Sun

“Come to me!” cried the Heart to the Star.
The Heart like a lute, like a red guitar
Thus sang out to its golden lover.
“Stand here within me and kindle
My beating, pulsive breathing;
Pray start those soft footsteps
That in my streets
May march a century.”

“Come to me!” gasped the Heart to the Star.
The Heart like a red bell
Hanging in a walking steeple
Thus sang to its gold beloved.
“Ring me, begin my beating
So that my new, peculiar voice
May sing at last.”

Into the Heart’s red cage
Then ran the young Sun.
Into its blood-filled dungeon
Where like the prisoner of a Maze
His footsteps of Sunsets and Sunrises
Did ticktock five time 5,000 days.
“You are mine! I have caught you!”
Cried the Heart
In her love for the trapped yellow wanderer.

Then came, long after, the winter
When ripely heavy with age
The Heart like a red leaf
Fell from her branch
Into a grave and gray grave.
Pulled by the fierce winter wind
Plucked down by the bold winter cold
The Heart fell from life
And the gold prisoner within her
With swift rust
Wore away her red, russet walls.
When out of that broken heart he flew
He wept and did sadly survey
His dead red mistress
Whose sweet rooms and dungeons
Now swarmed and whirred with decay.
“Alas, my Love, it is your fate and mine
That I someday smother whom I kindle
And give birth to those I’ll someday kill.”