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Four Poems of Farewell: Don Quixote to His Lady

Poem 2 of Poems of Farewell

On bended knee

I bow, madam.

I have charged over hills,

my helmet gleaming,

and fought heroically

in the madness of my love for you.

I have galloped hard

and leaped high walls,

your name bleeding down my chin.

I have sung your name to the stars, madam,

sonnets torn from my heart,

as I rode toward the sky

on my stallion.

I have served you well, madam,

a worthy knight-errant

with shield and lance

and have kneeled before you many times,

these blistered hands held out

for your touch.

But you would only nod, madam,

or look in back of me at a friend

across the room.

or a picture on the wall,

or you would read a book,

or turn away as if I wasn’t there

and never see my eyes

adoring you.

I bow, madam,

bruised from falling off a windmill,

from dreaming in the sun too long,

from waiting all these breathless years

for our hands to touch.

And now, madam,

as I turn to go,

don’t curse my desperate grabbings

at the air,

don’t sneer,

but look at me as one

who in his foolish way

fought hard for you.





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