On an Illustration by Warwick Goble
from The Fairy Book (1913)
How pitiful, those two gnarled pines
Behind them on that barren knoll:
As lonely as those lovers look!
Aslog, loath to marry money,
Pined for Orm, poor but pure;
And so she fled her father’s fetters,
Finding soon that following Feeling—
Listening to the Lord of Love—
Can send one, shivering, through the snow
And steer one toward the strangest lands.
Still, so’s not to spoil their story,
I will leave these lovers standing
Stark as artist Warwick wrought them,
Frail yet firm with deep devotion
In a weird and wintry world.
A retired English professor, William Ruleman devotes his days to writing and painting. His most recent books include the poetry collections From Rage to Hope (White Violet Books, 2016), Munich Poems (Cedar Springs Books, 2017), and Stefan Zweig’s unfinished novel Clarissa (Ariadne Press, also 2017). His website is http://www.williamruleman.com.