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Collected Poems



We have found our peace, and move with a turning globe;
the night is all about us, the lovers' robe.

Mortal my love, my strength: your beauty their wound.
Strip quickly darling, your fingers be the wind

undressing a snowy peak to the sun's love,
scatter your clouds, be Everest, O my Eve.

Leap on the bed, lie still, your body truth become dream
torturing my arms before their kingdom come.

Give the wise their negations, the moralists their maps;
our empire the moment, the geometer's point where all shapes

of delight are hidden as joy sleeps in the vine.
I tell you again, what the poor have always known,

that this is all the heaven we shall ever find
in all our footsore and fatal journey and beyond,

and we shall never have enough to keep out foul weather,
or to eke out age, will perish forgetful of each other,

yet breeding saints or subduing Asia set against this
were violating our lives with littleness.

Now at the brink of being, in our pride of blood
let us remember lost lovers, think of the dead

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who have no power, who aching in earth lie,
the million bones, white longings in the night of eternity.

O love, how many of our faith have fallen!
Endless the torrent of time, endless and swollen

with tributaries from the broken veins of lovers.
I kiss you in remembrance of all true believers.

Midnight thoughts. Dark garlands to adorn your flesh
so it shine like snow, like fire. Flakes of ash

blowing from doom's far hill. Such wisps of terror
gazed at too long even in your body's mirror

would disrupt our continent, drain our seas,
bring all to nothing. Love, let us laugh and kiss,

only your lips but not with speech can tell
moving in the darkness what is unspeakable,

and though your eyes reflect spring's green and yellow like a pool
I cannot see them, can only guess at what is more beautiful

than home at last, than a child's sleep, more full of pity
and gentleness than snow falling on a burning city.