The Adventurer

Edith Nesbit

The land of gold was far away,
The sea a challenge roared between;
I left my throne, my crown, my queen,
And sailed out of the quiet bay.

I met the challenge of the wave,
The curses of the winds I mocked:
The conquered wave my galley rocked,
The wind became my envious slave.

I brought much treasure from afar,
Spices, and shells, and rich attire;
Red rubies, fed with living fire,
To lie where all my longings are.

Heavy with spoil my keel ploughed low
As slow we sailed into the bay,
And long ago seemed yesterday
And yesterday looked long ago.

I came in triumph from the sea;
Bent was my crown, my courts grown mean,
And on my throne a faded queen
Raised alien eyes, and looked at me.

"My queen! These rubies let me lay
Upon thy heart, as once my head..."
She smiled pale scorn: "My heart!" she said,
And turned her weary eyes away.

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