FORD, Madox Ford
THAT day the sunlight lay on the farms,
On the morrow the bitter frost that there was!
That night my young love lay in my arms,
The morrow how bitter it was!
And because she is very tall and quaint
And golden, like a quattrocento saint,
I desire to write about Heaven;
To tell you the shape and the ways of it,
And the joys and the toil and the maze of it,
For these there must be in Heaven,
Even in Heaven!
For God is a good man, God is a kind man,
And God’s a good brother, and God is no blind man,
And God is our father.
I will tell you how this thing began:
How I waited in a little town near Lyons many years,
And yet knew nothing of passing time, or of her tears,
But, for nine slow years, lounged away at my table in the shadowy sunlit square
Where the small cafés are.
The Place is small and shaded by great planes,
Over a rather human monument
Set up to Louis Dixhuit in the year
Eighteen fourteen; a funny thing with dolphins
About a pyramid of green-dripped, sordid stone.
But the enormous, monumental planes
Shade it all in, and in the flecks of sun
Sit market women. There’s a paper shop
Painted all blue, a shipping agency,
Three or four cafés; dank, dark colonnades
Of an eighteen-forty Mairie. I’d no wish
To wait for her where it was picturesque,
Or ancient or historic, or to love
Over well any place in the land before she came
And loved it too. I didn’t even go
To Lyons for the opera; Arles for the bulls,
Or Avignon for glimpses of the Rhone.
Not even to Beaucaire! I sat about
And played long games of dominoes with the maire,
Or passing commis-voyageurs. And so
I sat and watched the trams come in, and read
The Libre Parole and sipped the thin, fresh wine
They call Piquette, and got to know the people,
The kind, southern people