A white tower beckons, and I slowly turn Up the helical stair, book in hand And book in mind, unwilling to return To the grassy fields below, the wild lands-- Because she, whose white visage set my heart ablaze, Has turned aside to face another face. I walk alone in my tower proud, Wreathed with incense out of old books And exchanging lightning with the clouds, Who knew the high dismissal of your look-- And died to youth and carefree love And all the lies true lovers prove. Although you had me by your side, You with love's allure were wroth, Never relenting to be my bride--never To follow my footsteps and be guest in my house. "Better friends forever than lovers severed," Were the bitter words of your mouth. Now you come out of the exhausted dread Of dreams, in the pale negligee of death; Great agate stones set by ear and neck. My days march by on grim battlements And grind out grim watches of the night. Love is gone that had been our right.... The vision fades like falling snow, Flakes disintegrating from my bandaged brow.