Dreaming from my tower in the air
Higher than the trees surrounding close
Wondering if men would find me fair,
Footsteps down below break my repose
The mist about my window hinders me
From viewing who would enter in my court
But so few visitors I chance to see,
Intent I am on making my report
And tuning my sweet song towards the earth,
I'll change my fate, which left me here since birth.
Six notes only had I sounded when
The footsteps came nearer my prison wall
Trembled I, yet sounded them again
And from what seemed the pit of earth heard call
A voice quite different from those I had heard
Though I could count that number on one hand
My lips too dry to speak a single word,
I wondered why I had not better planned
And tried in vain to step back from the sill
For something held my hair and kept me still.
I tried to scream but sound I could not make
My frightened wit had robbed me of my speech
I thought of how my tresses I might break,
But spied the scissors just beyond my reach
Frantically I fumbled through my skirts,
Searching for my dagger in the fold
The same I used for tearing linen shirts
And as I knew not what of me had hold,
To sacrifice my braids I raised my knife
Too late! I now must kill to save my life.
My point directed at the stranger's chin,
No time was left for severing his rope
But shall I murder him or let him in?
I was too stunned at what I saw to hope
For some salvation. I knew I was lost
Whichever was my choice it mattered not
The mist had cleared, my innocence the cost
And for one endless moment I was wrought
Of human flesh and human cares and fears
The fantasy of fables read for years.
A face it was, yea, had it lips and eyes,
But unlike that which greets me in the glass
In its twin orbs I saw no less surprise
And so we stood, two statues made of brass
I gazing in his eyes and he in mine
As though we might have read each other's thought
sHe smiled slowly as one drunk with wine
When suddenly the forest rang with shots
The hunters oft' before had come too near,
And so I bid adieu to all my fear.
Hardly knowing half of what I did
But well aware the half I knew was mad,
I grasped his arms as virtue may forbid
And pulled the creature with what strength I had
Into the chamber. To the floor we fell,
Then scrambled I to my poniard retrieve
And asked him now, at death's third door to tell
Why cam'st he hence, and bade him not deceive
For if he should be false, despite his beauty,
Though I be fooled, my dagger knew its duty.
His lips then moved but not a sound was heard
I saw them as two petals from a rose
When finally he was fit to say a word,
I was content examining his nose
He made some mention of a songbird's tune
I was not listening but o'erlooked his brow
He claimed he would have climbed up to the moon
I wished to give him peace but knew not how
He had not thought his rope a maiden's hair
Upon my life, I found the creature fair!
The deed explained, he begged of me my name
Rapunzel I replied. A man thou art?
I am the creature laughed, The very same
How long hast thou been kept from life apart?
I told him how, for one and twenty years,
My home had been the walls he saw around me
How no amount of pleading, nor no tears
Have gained a visitor until he found me
But when I think upon it I recall,
For staring, he did not hear me at all.
It seemed to me we may as well not speak
His eyes had gone as cloudy as the day
He asked if he might come again that week
And I knew he must soon be gone away
He took my hands and pressed them in his own
As if by doing so he should stay longer
He told me of the world I might have known,
Vowing to return and slay my wronger
Then promising no harm, his head he bent
And kissed my lips, then out the sill he went.
Lowering himself as he had come,
Through the mist my creature disappeared,
Riding back to all that he was from
And all that I could never be I feared
And yet what raven locks fell round his face
What gentle eyes as gray as seagulls wings
A voice so soft my words cannot replace
The memory of a thousand lovely things
And so I'll dream again of arms more sweet
The dagger I had dropped lies at my feet.