Abishag

I
She lay, and serving-men her lithe arms took,
And bound them round the withering old man,
And on him through the long sweet hours she lay,
And little fearful of his many years.

And many times she turned amidst his beard
Her face, as often as the night-owl screeched,
And all that was the night around them reached
Its feelers manifold of longing fears.

As they had been the sisters of the child
The stars trembled, and fragrance searched the room,
The curtain stirring sounded with a sign
Which drew her gentle glances after it.

But she clung close upon the dim old man,
And, by the night of nights not over-taken,
Upon the cooling of the King she lay
Maidenly, and lightly as a soul.

II
The King sate thinking out the empty day
Of deeds accomplished and untasted joys,
And of his favorite bitch that he had bredC
But with the evening Abishag was arched
Above him. His disheveled life lay bare,
Abandoned as diffamed coasts, beneath
The quiet constellation of her breasts.

But many times, as one in women skilled,
he through his eyebrows recognized the mouth
Unmoved, unkissed; and saw: the comet green
Of her desired reached not to where he lay.
He shivered. And he listened like a hound,
And sought himself in his remaining blood.

by Rainer Maria Rilke

Comments (4)

You have shown smokers what to expect at the end of the road in this poem Indira...I hope it will help to clear the smoke and curb the menace to society...
Dear Indira Mam', I am planning to bring out a small collection of related poems on Tobacco Day, Could I pls use your poem 'Agony', 'Beedi Rollers' & 'The Smoing Solomon' it will be free a distribution campaign among teens and college students, during the first week of June 2009. Please also give any referance to other related poems on addiction, drugs etc. I await your consent. Please read, 'Anxiety', by Richard Jarboe and 'The Drug Devil' posted in my page written by my friend Sangeetha. Thanking you. Affly, Angel PS: Sorry Mam', As I had no other way to reach you I am using this comment box, please excuse me.
This all kind of addictions are death wishes or slow suicides.................The method to escape from self.............but joy must be found after facing the self........there is no retreat..........Good Write.........10+++.............
a striking poem that leaves any sensible smoker unsettled!