Thursday, October 29, 2015

Maggie (poem for a friend)


“Few men looked on her without becoming, in a certain fashion, her lovers. But it was the kind of love that made them not less true, but truer, to their own wives.” – C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

No man can tell in what arch-farrier’s fire,
Or in what blessed blacksmith’s forge some morn,
Or how by that great Girlsmith’s good desire,
Those smoldering dark eyes of hers were formed.

With hair like darkest wood she was endowed,
But textured with the grace of flowing silk,
That formed a dark and brooding glory cloud,
To frame a face as smooth and white as milk.

For any man who struggles to be chaste
(And such a man I was and am today),
A danger clear, she was, in form and face;
A most bewitching alloy, I assayed.

But then, as prompted by the Paraclete,
I took a deeper look at her and saw,
The fire of her holiness complete,
And all her beauty, tempered by the law.

So let this lady’s power here be known,
That makes me ever truer to my own.

-- © Paul Erlandson, 2015