Who timed your coming that it chanced too soon?
My youth was strange and love a difficult tongue.
I did not know one faltering word. The tune
That you had mastered and the ages sung,
Was high and breathless and it strangled me.
If you had been more patient and more wise
With my young reticence, eventually,
I could have sung it too, with lips and eyes.
But while I strove with each melodious note,
Some grave grandam’s dim fingers like a vise
Would hold the fluttering music in my throat,
Until it hushed and died, or turned to ice.
It might have mattered had your heart been stayed,
That now I’m fluent, loosed and unafraid.