Brother, lover, your rousing return arouses me!
But to the bloodless, mawkish husband wilting whitely before us
you are a coal-black blot on this pearl-pale parlour.
In absence, my love that burned for you combusted into hate,
now your return fans those flames back to love again.
You sneer you find my wild heart tamed.
You see a gilded lily sprung from storm-heather snarls,
and I, in turn, see the new gold chink in your smudge of dark.
Observe the waxen white lily wilting weakly beside me: Isabella.
Her wretchedness falls upon her head like golden rain.
Is she not fragile as drawing room chintz china?
We braved the jagged teeth of Penniston's jutting rocks,
each violent violet storm, each ragged, rugged outcrop.
Oh why did I betray my heather-shadowed heart
for this gilt lily grange: my gilded cage?
Its grandiosity smothers me.
Each breath I take is a gasp for our past,
a grasp for a gust of the green.
I sold and told our secrets, chanced our souls,
now with my boiling blood's passion I've paid.
I'll not live more than another year
before the tempest raging in my head and heart implodes.
Let them lay me beneath the cold kiss of snow;
blue as a frozen harebell, a sleeper in that dark, quiet earth,
finally at peace upon our moor.
for 'Charles Haigh Wood' contest
*The painting reminds me of a particular scene in 'Wuthering Heights' between Cathy, Heathcliff, Edgar and Isabella, in the parlour at Thrushcross Grange . Fittingly, Charles Haigh Wood came from Bury which is not far from the moors where the novel is set.