WITHOUT A METAPHOR


DEAREST,
Did you find your letter?
The quicker I post, the
quicker I need to sit down
and write again. The grass
under love’s feet never
stops growing: I must make
hay of it while the sun
shines. You say my
metaphors make you giddy.
—My dear, you, without a
metaphor in your
composition, do that to me!
So it is not for you to
complain; your curses
simply fly back to roost.
Where do you pigeon-hole
them? In a pie? (I mean to
write now until I have made
you as giddy as a dancing
dervish!) Your letters are
much more like blackbirds:
and I have a pie of them
here, twenty-four at least;
and when I open it they
sing ‘ Chewee, chewee,
chewee!’ in the most scared
way! Your last but three
said most solemnly, just as
if you meant it, ‘ I hope you
don’t keep these
miserables! Though I fill up
my hollow hours with them,
there is no reason why
they should fill up yours.’
You added that I was better
occupied— and here I am ‘
better occupied ‘ even as
you bid me. But one can
jump best from a
springboard: and how could
I j ump as far as your arms
by letter, if I had not yours
to jump from?
So you see they are kept,
and my disobedience of you
has begun: and I find
disobedience wonderfully
sweet. But then, you gave
me a law which you knew I
should disobey:—that is the
way the world began. It is
not for nothing that I am a
daughter of Eve. And here
is our world in our hands,
yours and mine, now in the
making. Which day are the
evening and the morning
now? I think it must be the
birds’—and already, with
the wings, disobedience
has been reached! Make
much of it! The day will
come when I shall wish to
obey. There are moments
when I feel a wish taking
hold of me stronger than I
can understand, that you
should command me beyond
myself — to things I have
not strength or courage for
of my own accord. How
close, dearest, when that
day comes, my heart will
feel itself to yours! It feels
close now: but it is to your
feet I am nearest, as yet.
Lift me!
There, there, Beloved, I
kiss you with all my will. Oh,
dear heart, forgive me for
being no more than I am:
your freehold to all
eternity.

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