Dancing Dust

Poems by Mollie Caird (1922-2000)

The trees

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G to M

I ate with Adam from the apple tree,
And with Elijah yielded to despair
Beneath the juniper; I knelt in prayer
Behind the fig tree's leaves; I climbed to see
My Saviour from a sycamore, and he
Said he would bring me to a city where
The tree of life is planted; and he bare
My sins upon the tree of Calvary.
My faults and follies like a sneaking thief
Pilfered my faith. I could not think that this,
The object of my self-contempt and grief,
Was loved. He sent me evidence of bliss,
An angel to convince my unbelief
Under a weeping willow with a kiss.

M to G

And yet the willow's tears were made to grieve
Upon the poor mortality of bliss,
To make you hear the insinuating hiss
Of Eden's serpent, that you might believe
This was no incubus sent to deceive;
That you might taste the apple in the kiss,
And know this was not heaven come, but this
Paradise, and I your mortal Eve.
So is our God-born love planted on earth,
A secret-growing seed which sudden finds
Tumultuous life within its bursting shell,
Shooting, budding, till it bring to birth
A love which like the tree Yggdrasil binds
With roots and branches heaven, earth and hell.

The first of this pair of sonnets was written by George Caird to Mollie at the time of their engagement in the summer of 1943.  The second is her response.