Mad Song

Grey gaolers are my griefs
That will not let me free;
The bitterness of tears
Is warder unto me.

I may not leap or run;
I may not laugh nor sing.
'Thy cell is small,' they say,
'Be still thou captived thing.'

But in the dusk of the night,
Too sudden-swift to see,
Closing and ivory gates
Are refuge unto me.

My griefs, my tears must watch,
And cold the watch they keep;
They whisper, whisper there -
I hear them in my sleep.

They know that I must come,
And patient watch they keep,
Whispering, shivering there,
Till I come back from sleep.

But in the dark of a night,
Too dark for them to see,
The refuge of black gates
Will open unto me.

Whisper up there in the dark. .
Shiver by bleak winds stung. .
My dead lips laugh to hear
How long you wait . . . how long!

Grey gaolers are my griefs
That will not let me free;
The bitterness of tears
Is warder unto me.

by Adelaide Crapsey

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