Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
Don Juan in Portugal
By Florence Wilkinson
 
AT every pelhourinho’s ledge
Faces to set my teeth on edge—
Gray gossips, like a dusty hedge,
Whisper and crackle.
 
I lean at Alcobaca, dim        5
With fig-leaves twisted round its rim.
Pauses a slim
Tall maid. Her name?—A Latin hymn,
 
Gloria da Madre de Deus;
A white-rose face dipped tremulous—        10
A profile carved as nobly clear
As love-child of Aurelius.
 
White-clad, barefoot and straight she stood,
Vase-bearing nymph ripe to be wooed
In some delicious interlude.
.    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
        15
What need now to remember more?—
The tiled and twisted fountain’s pour,
The vase forgotten on the floor,
The white street ending in her door;
 
Her head, a dark flower on a stem;        20
Her diadem
Of heavy hair, the Moorish low estalegem;
Outside, the stillness and white glare
Of Alcobaca’s noonday square;
My hands that dare—        25
The beauty of her loosened hair:
 
White shift, white door, the white still street;
Her lips, her arms, her throat, her feet;
After a while—the bread and meat,
 
A dewy jar of cool red wine,        30
Olives that glisten wet with brine.
White rose of Alcobaca—mine—
We kiss again above the wine!
.    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
The red wine drunk, the broken crust,
We parted as all lovers must.        35
Madre in gloria, be thou just
To that frail glory—
A white rose fallen into dust!
 
 
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