William Morris Archive

Saint George (Such careless thoughts as maids will have, she had)

Pub. CW, XXIV, 75. Draft in Fitz. MS 1.

SUCH careless thoughts as maids will have, she had
     In other days, when passing on that way
Toward the small chapel: there with heart right glad,
     Becausejoy filled her, would she often pray.

Indeed I know in those days there was nought
     That Sabra needed: so for utter love
She prayed: nor broke thereby one happy thought
     That pleased her heart, pure as a grey-winged dove.

But now she thought it hard to think of God;
     Although her lips kept muttering as she went,
"God help! Christ help!" Her footsteps as she went
     Seemed heavy to her, and her head was bent

Down to the road. That morning she would walk,
     Although they brought a litter hung with gold
And soft with cushions; when she heard them talk
     Low-voiced why these were black—" nay on the mo uld

I walk a ghost," she said, "on this last day."
     Although of old for very daintiness
She loved soft cushions and fine food, this may
     Went golden-shod afoot in her distress.

Her head down to the ground a little drooped,
     Her loose hair combed out thin on either side,
Beneath a scarlet mantle furred she stooped,
     A thin white kirtle clad her like a bride.

There were no women with her; but tall men
     This side and that plodded with heavy tread:
Armed close and clean with steel they were, as when
     In bitter fight the guisarme skins the head.

For PDF, see Saint George