Prie-Dieu // Donald (Grady) Davidson

Prie-Dieu

By Donald (Grady) Davidson

 

Of what sins have you made confession here,
Ardent Cecile? Not passion’s intimacy,
Or tangles of desire that mutineer
A bold way through your maiden ecstasy.
Those are not blamed…the penance not severe!

 

Pray rather, with cool-lidded conscious eyes
For warm juvescence of those ichored limbs,
For laughter checked by no repentant cries,
For lips unstained by pattering of hymns.
Men’s glances have embraced you. They are wise.

 

They have seen you, cumbent by the ruddy fire,
Lending your curves to cushioned wantonness,
Or leaping to the stroke of an earthy lyre
Twanged in the joy of throbbing noon’s excess
And cried no pause for love. You, they require.

 

Of what sins have you made confession here,
Ardent Cecile? The wood receives your knees;
The organ stirs your prayer. Now you revere
The God that made you beautiful among these,
The gnarled and ugly. Your book receives no tear.