Sonnets by Gwendolyn Bennett

  1. He came in silvern armour, trimmed with black–
    A lover come from legends long ago–
    With silver spurs and silken plumes a-blow,
    And flashing sword caught fast and buckled back
    In a carven sheath of Tamarack.
    He came with footsteps beautifully slow,
    And spoke in voice meticulously low.
    He came and Romance followed in his track . .

    I did not ask his name–I thought him Love;
    I did not care to see his hidden face.
    All life seemed born in my intaken breath;
    All thought seemed flown like some forgotten dove.
    He bent to kiss and raised his visor’s lace . . .
    All eager-lipped I kissed the mouth of Death.

    2.

    Some things are very dear to me–
    Such things as flowers bathed by rain
    Or patterns traced upon the sea
    Or crocuses where snow has lain . . .
    The iridescence of a gem,
    The moon’s cool opalescent light,
    Azaleas and the scent of them,
    And honeysuckles in the night.
    And many sounds are also dear–
    Like winds that sing among the trees
    Or crickets calling from the weir
    Or Negroes humming melodies.
    But dearer far than all surmise
    Are sudden tear-drops in your eyes

-Gwendolyn Bennett (1927)

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