Gothic Lover by Maude Phelps McVeigh Hutchins

For Whom I Build a Tomb

It was the prettiest thing I ever saw
He stood up
And lifted out his heart
And held it high
I dreamed it
He looked like part
Of Chartres
His heart
Had wings
And he lifted it quietly
From his breast
And held it up

If I had a lover
I’d paint him white
And early small green leaves
Yellow with spring
I’d wreathe his head with
Standing back
I’d fix his locks
Curled and probably gilded
Just as I wished
Before they stayed
And then I’d wrap him nearly
In a sheath
Something like the greenery
That peas are kept in
But curling in on him a little
His whiteness
Long and narrow
Gilded at the top
Would be
Like a churchly taper
To light the candles on the altar
I would not leave him thus suspended
But diligently work
And build around him
Underneath and overhead
Long stones
Like playing cards
On edge
A small slanting block
Beneath his feet
If I were strong
I would outward build
And with many corners
Like Chartres
In another place
My lover’s tomb.


Date: 1941

By: Maude Phelps McVeigh Hutchins (1899-1991)

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