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Zora Bernice May Cross

Sonnet Of Motherhood XXIV

How many holy women mothered me
And brought me to perfection for this hour,
When from my being all the living power
Of sweetest woman should at last flow free?
Aeons on Aeons on a loving knee
Some woman rocked me in her scented bower,
Till my soul bloomed an everlasting flower
Calling with fragrance to a singing bee.

You came. You saw me. And because in you
A myriad mothers all their love had spread,
Those holy women since the dawn of day
Gave you the promise of a master true…
Dearest, that bee unto the flower was wed
When your song fitted with my humble lay.

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Love Sonnet XLII

My true mind makes as many loves of you
As my full heart contentedly can hold.
And when the one grows dull, the other cold,
Yet comes another swifter in to woo.
I could not rue such changing retinue
Nor chastise circumstance that keeps me bold.
I make you young or middle-aged or old
Just as it pleases my own whim to do.

And then to counterbalance what you give
Thus all unwittingly, I smile or frown,
Am thoughtful, mirthful, grave or sunny-eyed
To meet your mood and help you best to live.
In me, all women to your wish bow down.
In you, all men at my desire abide.

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Love Sonnet XXXV

I cannot find a fault in you; and yet
I think you are not perfect many ways.
I have seen lips more meet for maiden praise
And eyes less shadowed with a grey regret.
But pure perfection of your love has let
The tenant mirrors of my mind such rays,
All other men reflect a smoky haze
And in the murk their virtues I forget.

He knows not perfect who has found the best,
Nor worth who would deny unworthiness.
But meanest flowers are fair as any rose
When blowing fragrant to our least behest.
So you are perfect in my heart no less
For that unworthiness my poor mind knows.

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Love Sonnet XXI

If there should be a moon above the hill
To-night, dip down with me into the sea
Of our first passion, and, with naked glee,
Breathe its ripe wonder to our beings’ fill.
O, as the moonbeams on the violets spill
Rivers of uncontrolled felicity,
We’ll tune our bodies to a melody
And set our pulses to a poet’s thrill.

Love…Love…Your hot lips tremble on my eyes.
You droop. You swoon in silence over me…
Heaven, out of yours, my very eyelids sup.
The stars are running out of Paradise…
I languish, perfumed with expectancy…
Beloved, kiss me, for the moon is up.

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Sonnet Of Motherhood XXIX

How strangely lone unto myself I grow,
Listening and looking for I know not what;
Turning my head with terror cold and hot
At wandering whispers of a music low!
Familiar pieces of my being flow
Far, far away, to thymy hill and plot,
While chained to patience in this close-shut spot
I sit apart from everything I know.

O Love, I fear the loneness of my limbs
Leaning to nothing to their solitude.
Draw up the blinds and let the stars rush in,
The mournful moon and all the air she swims.
I would not languish in my mother-mood
While just without earth makes her old, mad din.

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Love Sonnet XXV

I know no miracle so manifest
As that you wrought upon me yesterday,
Filling with love my chalice of pure clay
From fragrant fountains of your own dear breast.
Beaten and sad, with aching eyes I pressed
Close unto you, and, as my body lay,
Broken with pain and grief, you murmured, “Stay,
I am the deathless end of all your quest.”

I lifted up my bowed and weeping head,
Borrowing comfort from your arms and eyes.
I felt your lips, long-climbing to my own,
And knew the best of me was not all dead.
I, who had fallen out of Paradise,
Was placed by you upon my rightful throne.

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Sonnet Of Motherhood VIII

Make me the melody of meeting palms,
The roundelay of little running feet.
Strike me a measure to a trembling sweet
Of the mouth’s laughter and the fingers’ psalms.
I know of music in the ocean calms—
A siren singing where the long tides meet.
I know of lyrics in the leaf’s long beat,
But the child-chant is symphony of balms.
Sing it to me. O, sing it to my blood…
Through chord and fibre of my being run
The liquid quavers, and the pause and turn
Of every note in its seraphic flood.
Sing on that anthem of the sea and sun
And the deep dreams that in your being yearn.

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Sonnet Of Motherhood XXVII

O, not alone I weave this miracle
Of glowing spirit from my body’s zone.
With every moment of the life unknown
You feed the glory of a growing cell.
All day I think of you, and night must tell
Dreams of my dreams unto your heart alone;
So, seeing you, I take you, O my own,
Into my child where first you wrought Life’s spell.

Dearest, as much as I, you breathe in pain,
Breeding yourself—your very soul from me
By look and sign, soft word and action strong,
And all you longed for in its form regain.
I am a humble haven where we three,
Father and child and mother, make a song.

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Love Sonnet LX

My mind and heart both love you utterly.
And so each thought of mine is doubly yours,
And all my will about your body pours
Scents of my blood and fires that flow from me.
Who has created me, so young, so free,
Eager to-day to close convention’s doors,
To-morrow to return and sweep the floors
With my loose hair in blinding memory?

Dearest, you have, who gave my heart such love,
It sang the marriage of our mingling blood;
Sweeping us on in a supreme control,
To those vast stillnesses that move above;
And in the wonder of its mighty flood
My mind drew God from your eternal soul.

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Love Sonnet LVIII

Do not surcharge our souls with that vile blame
To which our bodies are subjected here;
Nor heap them with the horror of dull fear
Base-borrowed from a life of torpid shame.
But let them linger like a lovely flame
Above the clay to which they must cohere,
Lighting the earthly to the heavenly sphere
To meet the mystery from which they came.

As midnight drinks a message from the moon
And morning takes her orders from the sun,
So let our bodies to our souls submit
And live for ever in their still high-noon,
Where morn and midnight gather into one,
And only angels on their missions flit.

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