I read, I like, I share (17) : Daphne du Maurier

The Writer    [1926]

Not for me the arrow in the air,
Nor the mountain snows,

Nor the dumb ocean,

Nor the wind on the heath,

Nor the warm breath
Of the bare bright sun upon my hair

Not for me the mist of the white stars,
Nor the singing falls,
Nor the deep river,
Nor the flung foam
Upon the hard beach,
Nor the other mountains that I cannot reach.

Mine is the silence
And the quiet gloom
Of a clock ticking
In an empty room,
The scratch of a pen,
Ink-pot and paper,
And the patter of the rain.
Nothing but this as long as I am able,
Firelight — and a chair, and a table.

Not for me the whisper in the ear,
Nor the touch of a hand,
And that hand on my heart,
Nor the quick pattering of feet
Upon the stair, nor laughter in the street,
Nor the swift glance, intangible and dear.  

Not for me the hunger in the night,
And the strength of the lover
Tired of his loving,

Seeking after passion the broken rest,

Bearing his body’s weight upon my breast

Mine is the silence
Of the still day,
When the shouting on the hills
Sounds far away,
The song of the thrush,
In the quiet woods,
And the scent of trees.  

Always the child who loved too late,
The poet — the fool — the watchman at the gate.
I am the actress mother who must make
A pretended cradle of her arms, lifeless and bare,
Who has never borne a child.  

I am the deaf musician, calm and mild,
Singing a battle symphony, who has never heard the guns,
Nor the thunder in the air.  

I am the painter whose blind gaze defiled
Would conjure an ocean, who has never seen the sea break
On the wild shores of Finistere….  

Not for me the shadow of a smile,
Nor the life that has gone,
Nor the love that has fled,
But the thread of the spider who spins on the wall,

Who is lost, who is dead, who is nothing at all.


from The Rebecca Notebook & Other Memories   


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