THE COMING OF EVE - Sara Teasdale Poems


Poems » sara teasdale » the coming of eve


God gave the world to Man in the Beginning.
    Alone in Eden there and lord of all
He mused: "There may be one thing worth the winning.
    (All else is mine.) When will that Apple fall?

"I weary of the Garden. Here are roses
    That bloom and die not. Oh, that they would die!
Without one thorn each bud its blush uncloses.
    (Perhaps the thorns will sharpen by and by!)

"In all this world of loveliness, I find not
    One flower whose face seems fair at all to see.
I might endure – even Paradise, and mind not,
    Were Some One here to wear a rose for me.

"Still, yonder fruit must mock me with its glitter!
    (The Woman – were there one! – might rob the Tree!)
It may be that the taste within is bitter,
    And this eternal sweetness tortures me."

He yawned himself to sleep. And then, (oh wonder!
    Oh beauty that made flower and star look dim!)
He woke, and lo! the Woman waited under
    The Tree – whereon the Apple grew – for him.

"What would my lord?" the Vision sighed. "Command me.
    (Heaven for his pleasure made me – from his side –
At least, not for my own!)" "You understand me? –
    I want yon Apple, Fairest!" he replied....

Then, lo! the seraph's sword of fire above them! –
    And lo! all Eden blackened at their feet!
With none on earth and none in Heaven to love them,
    Save one another, life at once grew sweet! ...

God gave the world to Man. With eyes entreating,
    The Woman said: "Hast Thou no gift for me?"
"Yea, Woman! In thy breast a Heart is beating!"
    The Father spake. "That is my gift to thee!" ...

Eve – passing – left this gift to all her daughters.
    Is Man a wanderer from his home apart?
Do great winds hurl him over troubled waters?
    Faints he on sand? She follows with her Heart!

He goeth forth to battle and is wounded.
    She binds the wounds he dies from – or has made!
He sounds the seas. She sounds the deeps unsounded –
    The darker deeps from which he shrinks afraid!

She watches by the cradle, and so catches
    The first light of the soul, God's new-born star!
She watches by the grave – alone, she watches
    (Others forget) where death and silence are.

She helps her race as maid, as wife, as mother –
    With grace, with love, with sweetness, with her Heart!
Yet women, sisters, helping one another,
    Most surely ye shall choose the better part.

She has her little wrongs. To bear or mend them
    Is what she – must! God gave the world to Man.
To her He gave – her troubles! He will end them!
    But, meanwhile, let her help Him as she can!