The House o’ the Mirror – Helen Adam poem

The House o’ the Mirror 

Upon the hill my lover stands.
A burning branch is in his hands.
He stamps impatient on the stane,
And calls and claims me for his ain.

I bolt my door. I hood my light.
I rin tae slam the shutters tight.
I tug my curtains claise and thick.
I stop the clock lest it should tick.

My house is dark. My house is still.
He shines and thunders on the hill.
I pace the rooms, and as I pass
I see myself within the glass.

The glass is tall, and like a gate.
My image watches while I wait
For him tae loup the hill o’ night
And raze my house wi’ heavenly light.

At his approach I’m like tae dee
Sae hard my hert belabours me.
This house o’ stane is frail as straw,
For at a clap its wa’s doun fa’.

But wae’s my hert for well I ken
He seeks a love ne’er found by men.
Foredoomed, and damned, he seeks the lass
Wha haunts the darkness o’ the glass.

The ghaist that in the mirror gleams,
Floating aloof, like one who dreams;
For her he rages, mad and blind,
And plunders a’ my flesh tae find.

He dives in flame, and whirls me low
As if tae seize on drifting snow.
He shrieks because he canna clutch
What lies beyond the grief o’ touch.

Aye! though we strauchle breast tae breast,
And kiss sae hard we cry for rest,
And daur a’ pleasures till they cloy,
We find nae peace, and little joy.

For still between us stirs the shade
That ne’er will lie beneath his plaid.
A’ but my ghaist tae him I give.
My ghaist nae man may touch and live.

Oh! mirror like the midnight sky.
Sae high and dark, sae dark and high!
There bides my phantom far frae men,
In warlds nae earthly lovers ken.

My flesh is starvit morn and night
For a’ love’s horror and delight.
My ghaist apart frae passion stands;
It is my ghaist that love demands.

While blood dunts loud agin’ my ear,
And banes grow weak wi’ blissful fear,
Upon the hill my lover manes
For what has neither blood nor banes.

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