Ah Christ! it was no dream then, but there stood
(She comes again) a maiden passing fair,
Against the roof, with face turn'd to the wood,
Bearing within her arms waves of her yellow hair.
I read my riddle when I saw her stand,
Poor love! her face quite pale against her hair,
Praying to all the leagues of empty land
To save her from the woe she suffer'd there.
To think! they trod upon her golden hair
In the witches' sabbaths; it was a delight
For these foul things, while she, with thin feet bare,
Stood on the roof upon the winter night,
To plait her dear hair into many plaits,
And then, while God's eye look'd upon the thing,
In the very likenesses of Devil's bats,
Upon the ends of her long hair to swing.
And now she stood above the parapet,
And, spreading out her arms, let her hair flow,
Beneath that veil her smooth white forehead set
Upon the marble, more I do not know;
Because before my eyes a film of gold
Floated, as now it floats. O, unknown love,
Would that I could thy yellow stair behold,
If still thou standest with lead roof above!