A Diversity of Creatures

“Helen All Alone”

Rudyard Kipling

THERE was darkness under Heaven
    For an hour’s space—
Darkness that we knew was given
    Us for special grace.
Sun and moon and stars were hid,
    God had left His Throne,
When Helen came to me, she did,
    Helen all alone!

Side by side (because our fate
    Damned us ere our birth)
We stole out of Limbo Gate
    Looking for the Earth.
Hand in pulling hand amid
    Fear no dreams have known,
Helen ran with me, she did,
    Helen all alone!

When the Horror passing speech
    Hunted us along,
Each laid hold on each, and each
    Found the other strong.
In the teeth of Things forbid
    And Reason overthrown,
Helen stood by me, she did,
    Helen all alone!

When, at last, we heard those Fires
    Dull and die away,
When, at last, our linked desires
    Dragged us up to day;
When, at last, our souls were rid
    Of what that Night had shown,
Helen passed from me, she did,
    Helen all alone!

Let her go and find a mate,
    As I will find a bride,
Knowing naught of Limbo Gate
    Or Who are penned inside.
There is knowledge God forbid
    More than one should own.
So Helen went from me, she did,
Oh my soul, be glad she did!
    Helen all alone!

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