Juvenilia, published in The Collected Poems of Muriel Rukeyser (2005)
Eve walked in the Garden of a Sunday morning, Sunlight was her kirtle and her book a rose— Where was she going, down the aisle of trees so primly? No one knows. Helen in her bower looked into her dressing-glass, (Although of course the mirror was not invented yet,) What did she think as she preened herself for Paris? The songs forget. Vivien was subtle by the age-old oak tree, But that Merlin the enchanter was her dupe, I doubt, What did she do when he loosed the magic bondage? There are lines left out. Isolt didn’t worry if she’d make a good impression— She was lovely in the daytime, she was charming in the dark— We wonder how she looked when she woke up in the morning— The answer rests with Mark. Rapunzel in her tower was a witch—well, a beauty, She made of her tow-head a long and golden snare; But the fairy-tales forget what she said to her Prince Charming The first time he tugged her hair. Oh, the ladies of the romances were certainly alluring, —No understanding reader entertains a single doubt— But there must be more than one who’d be glad to get a glimpse of Just a few of the lines they left out.