Abelard to Heloise

by Roger Donway

(Editor's note: this poem supplies an answer for Abelard to Alexander Pope's poem Eloisa to Abelard.)

Sister Meretrix,
                        Expel as incubi
All hellish thoughts of eunuch Abelard,
That lust-cursed, perverse Comforter. Make hard
Your soul-engulfing fens of pain. Deny
Hot eyes the air to burn, and stultify
This cult by sulking bawd. Give you God guard
Against despair. He, too, harlot, was scarred
For you, and how more innocent, stones cry.

You cannot dream the real, repeal the knife:
You did not pupil Anselm.
                                        But if life
In resurrection finds all men whole;
Their "defects supplied," Augustine told;
If Christ can find, like Cana's wine, love missed,
There, Heloise, please Jesus, is our tryst!