by John Masefield
I have drunken the red wine and flung the dice;
Yet once in the noisy ale-house I have seen and heard
The dear pale lady with the mournful eyes,
And a voice like that of a pure grey cooing bird.
With delicate white hands - white hands that I have kist
(Oh frail white hands!) - she soothed my aching eyes;
And her hair fell about her in a dim clinging mist,
Like smoke from a golden incense burned in Paradise.
With gentle loving words, like shredded balm and myrrh,
She healed with sweet forgiveness my black bitter sins,
Then passed into the night, and I go seeking her
Down the dark, silent streets, past the warm, lighted inns.