My Husbands, by Nathalia Crane

John George Brown - Street-gallantry
John George Brown – Street-gallantry – from

The strange polygamous fantasy of a girl aged about ten, imagining all the boys she has loved in her life who march in a row, while she silently listens to their praise for her, counts them, then selects the best one among them.

by Nathalia Crane

I HEAR my husbands marching
The æons all adown:
The shepherd boys and princes—
From cavern unto crown.

I hear in soft recession
The praise they give to me;
I hear them chant my titles
From all antiquity.

But never do I answer,
I might be overheard;
Lose Love’s revised illusions
By one unhappy word.

I sit, a silent siren,
And count my cavaliers;
The men I wed in wisdom,
The boys who taught me tears.

To some I gave devotion,
To some I kinked the knee;
But there was one old wizard
Who laid his spells on me.

He showed me like a master
That one rose makes a gown;
That looking up to Heaven
Is merely looking down.

He marked me for the circle,
Made magic in my eyes;
He won me by revealing
The truth in all his lies.

So, when I see that wizard
Among the marchers dim,
I make the full court curtsy
In fealty to him.

Source: Nathalia Clara Ruth Crane, The Janitor’s boy, and Other Poems. Thomas Seltzer, New York (1924). Digital version on Internet Archive.

Previously published on Agapeta, 2017/09/16.

2 thoughts on “My Husbands, by Nathalia Crane

  1. Good Afternoon,

    Since long I am not receiving your posts, now I am happy to receive your posts.
    God bless you and my blessings.

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