By the Weir

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By the Weir
written by Wilfrid Wilson Gibson
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    A scent of Esparto grass — and again I recall
    That hour we spent by the weir of the paper-mill
    Watching together the curving thunderous fall
    Of frothing amber, bemused by the roar until
    My mind was as blank as the speckless sheets that wound
    On the hot steel ironing-rollers perpetually turning
    In the humming dark rooms of the mill: all sense and discerning
    By the stunning and dazzling oblivion of hill-waters drowned.

    And my heart was empty of memory and hope and desire
    Till, rousing, I looked afresh on your face as you gazed —
    Behind you an old gnarled fruit-tree in one still fire
    Of innumerable flame in the sun of October blazed,
    Scarlet and gold that the first white frost would spill
    With eddying flicker and patter of dead leaves falling —
    looked on your face, as an outcast from Eden recalling
    A vision of Eve as she dallied bewildered and still

    By the serpent-encircled tree of knowledge that flamed
    With gold and scarlet of good and evil, her eyes
    Rapt on the river of life: then bright and untamed
    By the labour and sorrow and fear of a world that dies
    Your ignorant eyes looked up into mine; and I knew
    That never our hearts should be one till your young lips had tasted
    The core of the bitter-sweet fruit, and wise and toil-wasted
    You should stand at my shoulder an outcast from Eden too.

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