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A Moth
DSS (1866-1918 / Ireland)

A Moth

Poem By Dora Sigerson Shorter

I, like a moth to the candle,
Am chained by a glance from your eye.
If I shun you, the world is in darkness;
If I seek my desire, I die.
I hide 'neath the wings of my fancy,
I seek out my room's darkest shade;
Your shining still follows me ever,
Till I fly to my doom unafraid.
And yet, in my seeking I shun you,
In shunning I seek for love's sake;
My wings will draw near you, not save me,
Like a bird's 'neath the eye of a snake.
Have pity; I watched from my shadow
A brother's wings fall 'neath your touch.
Loved you not the joy of his flitting?
Or is pride's cold victory such

That you laugh as he crawls from your glances,
Or dies in his pain at your feet,
So hopeless, untrusting, despairing,
Now hating the light that was sweet?
Have pity; a hand in its kindness
Once opened the casement to me,
‘Go forth, foolish fly, for your life's sake,
Go forth! in the night you are free.
‘God's lamps in the Heavens are glowing,
More fair is their lighting than this
That was lit with a spark from man's fingers.
Go forth! lest you die in a kiss.’
The light of the stars could not reach me,
The warmth of your flame on my heart,
Too kind in their pity to wall me,
The fingers that saved were apart.
Have mercy, my life that my death is,
Blind, blind to your shining I fly.
If I shun you, the world is in darkness,
If I seek you, God help me! I die.

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