Thou maskéd dame, as varied
as the winds
Which swell and break within a summer gale,
Who dresses thy heart in murmurs sweet and frail,
A fine-spun web to catch adoring minds.
Once drawn to thee, thy silken closure binds
With midnight vows and contracts writ to jail
The tender man who fears the cry "betrayal!"
And soon the stricken hapless lover finds
That thou art not what he had firstwhile seen.
Thou slowly drain his wealth, his love, his life
And offer naught in turn but pain and strife.
I shun thee, like black Death, thou shadowed queen!
I'll not consent to live my life thy slave;
Thou shalt not win the plunder of my grave!
George Chadderdon © 1993