Two Look At Two
Love and forgetting might have carried them A little further up the mountain side With night so near, but not much further up. They must have halted soon in any case With thoughts of a path back, how rough it was With rock and washout, and unsafe in darkness; When they were halted by a tumbled wall With barbed-wire binding. They stood facing this, Spending what onward impulse they still had In One last look the way they must not go, On up the failing path, where, if a stone Or earthslide moved at night, it moved itself; No footstep moved it. ‘This is all,’ they sighed, Good-night to woods.’ But not so; there was more. A doe from round a spruce stood looking at them Across the wall, as near the wall as they. She saw them in their field, they her in hers. The difficulty of seeing what stood still, Like some up-ended boulder split in two, Was in her clouded eyes; they saw no fear there. She seemed to think that two thus they were safe. Then, as if they were something that, though strange, She could not trouble her mind with too long, She sighed and passed unscared along the wall. ‘This, then, is all. What more is there to ask?’ But no, not yet. A snort to bid them wait. A buck from round the spruce stood looking at them Across the wall as near the wall as they. This was an antlered buck of lusty nostril, Not the same doe come back into her place. He viewed them quizzically with jerks of head, As if to ask, ‘Why don’t you make some motion? Or give some sign of life? Because you can’t. I doubt if you’re as living as you look.” Thus till he had them almost feeling dared To stretch a proffering hand — and a spell-breaking. Then he too passed unscared along the wall. Two had seen two, whichever side you spoke from. ‘This must be all.’ It was all. Still they stood, A great wave from it going over them, As if the earth in one unlooked-for favour Had made them certain earth returned their love.