(Shadows over a cradle... fire-light craning..., A hand throws something in the fire and a smaller hand runs into the flame and out again, singed and empty..., Shadows settling over a cradle... two hands and a fire.)
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The crackle of the palm trees
Over the mooned white roofs of the town…
The shining town…
And the tender fumbling of the surf
On the sulphur-yellow beaches
As we sat…a little apart…in the close-pressing night.
The moon hung above us like a golden mango,
And the moist air clung to our faces,
Warm and fragrant as the open mouth of a child
And we watched the out-flung sea
Rolling to the purple edge of the world,
Yet ever back upon itself…
And mooned white memory
Of a tropic sea…
How softly it comes up
Like an ungathered lily.
Born in Dublin on December 12, 1873, Lola Ridge grew up in mining towns in New Zealand and Australia. When she was thirty-four years old, she immigrated to the United States, eventually settling in New York City.