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Collected Poems


page 81


Age will unfasten us, and take our strength;
our world will end when you,
the lovely husk of love, lie still at length
on the cold bed, and I,
my limbs stained through and through
with your beauty's blood, powerless beside you lie.

The world was old when we awoke
in this rebirth, and looked our love, and spoke;
the moon, white seal upon our midnight bliss,
a desert ages old at our first kiss.
Time will devour our days,
love die before we die.
Dear girl, when the dawn no longer finds us close
and sleeping still, wrapped in one dream,
Heaven's air around; when we,
rising in sunlight, gaze
no more on the enriched earth, but see
dust on the leaves and thin
light from the famished sun, and feel
the dryness of the heart;
then will our world be past, and a new age begun,
wherein we sleep and have no part.

And I would come up singing from the south,
or rise through smothering tides of sleep
deep as the sea, and find your mouth,
and lie there motionless till we became
(O flame and shadow of remembered time!)
one shape, one thought, the living form
of love itself; then slip beneath the wave
still warm from you, still crying your name.