from turret to turret;
will the count even yesterday's?
will there be five over?
this was a game I played,
a game of prophecy;
if she turns and shields her eyes,
gazing over the plain - yes -;
if she waits as she waited
day before yesterday
for ten heart-beats
before the second gate - no -;
what was the question
to which she gave the answer
with the measured fall of her feet,
or her pause over the rampart
that bridged the iron-gate?
shall we strike as my legions had struck,
first through the long fight,
or shall we take the second place
and leave the Trojan's fate to Odysseus?
did the Command read backward?
I stooped to fasten a greave
that was loosed at the ankle,
when she turned; I stood
indifferent to the rasp of metal,
and her eyes met mine;
you say, I could not see her eyes
across the field of battle,
I could not see their light
shimmering as light on the changeable sea?
all things would change but never
the glance she exchanged with me.
H.D., Helen in Egypt, New Directions, s.d. (1961, 1ªed.)