Lesbia Harford

Here you will find the Poem Adventurers of poet Lesbia Harford


This morning I got up before the sun 
Had seized the hill, 
And scrambled heart-hot, noisy, past each one 
In sleep laid still. 
There they lay helpless under the gold stars, 
Good folk and kind, 
By sleep the robber spoiled of heavenly wares, 
Made deaf and blind. 
The leaves cracked, the grass rustled as I passed. 
I might have been 
Myself the thief. Each minute seemed the last 
Of freedom's teen. 
But lonely down the hill in Levite's guise 
Or priest's, I ran. 
I had not proved myself, true loverwise, 
The wind went by me, pulling at my hair. 
I left the track. 
My last night's purpose terrible and fair 
Came sweeping back. 
Among the bracken under a white tree 
I sat me down, 
And slipped my shoulders very stealthily 
From out my gown. 
One minute I lay naked on the grass, 
Then sat upright. 
The hot wind had its will with me, and kissed 
My bosom white. 
The stars gleamed in the grey before the rose. 
Were they not eyes 
That peered and leered, and seemed about to close 
In shocked surprise? 
With the whole sky at gaze, there had I lain. 
Had dared thus much. 
I ran on frightened down the hill again, 
With gown to clutch. 
Down by the creek the blackberries grew thick, 
And as I passed 
They stretched long arms to hinder me and prick, 
Make me shamefast? 
Nay, they laughed, pulling at my slipping gown, 
Would have laid bare 
To chance men on the hillside looking down 
The whiteness there. 
Close by the blackwoods is the bathing pool 
The men have made. 
I was no sport for stars, no bramble's fool 
In the trees' shade. 
But when I stood with limbs and body free 
And gleaming fair, 
The little kind ferns screened and covered me 
Like Agnes' hair. 
I slipped into the shallow water, felt 
The fine brown sand 
Of the creek bottom, shuddered, splashed and knelt 
Too cold to stand. 
Happy and shivering, with trees overhead, 
Fern walls around, 
I listened to the water talking, led 
To praise by sound. 
So I have felt the wind and water's kiss, 
Though I'm a maid. 
Better be man than be a girl, and miss 
Feeling afraid.