A Well Worn Story

I had to look up what porphyry is. (It’s a rock and a name, including of a Neoplatonist philosopher and Christian saint.) This poem’s eleventh line gets me every time I read it.

In April, in April,
My one love came along,
And I ran the slope of my high hill
To follow a thread of song.

His eyes were hard as porphyry
With looking on cruel lands;
His voice went slipping over me
Like terrible silver hands.

Together we trod the secret lane
And walked the muttering town;
I wore my heart like a wet, red stain
On the breast of a velvet gown.

In April, in April,
My love went whistling by,
And I stumbled here to my high hill
Along the way of a lie.

Now what should I do in this place
But sit and count the chimes,
And splash cold water on my face,
And spoil a page with rhymes?

– Dorothy Parker

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