Martin Robertson

Now and Then


Miranda to Ophelia

in pity and surprise:

“What are those wrinkles on your brow

those rings about your eyes?

Surely life is only love

and love is paradise.”

Ophelia to Miranda:

“Life and love are hell.

But the heart’s misery

only the heart can tell

—mind and tongue break beneath it

and die in doggerel”

Miranda to Ophelia:

“How can I understand?

Life was a still morning

cool on brow and hand

till flesh and soul flowered

in those of Ferdinand.”

Ophelia to Miranda:

“I too knew the clear dawn;

my bud was near to blossom.

But the thunder-stone

struck my world and left me

broken and alone.”

Miranda to Ophelia:

“Then you would forget?

Had you your life to make again

You would never meet—?”

Ophelia to Miranda:

“I have not said that.”