The Conundrum Constructor?
Night Song at Amalfi
I asked the heaven of stars
I asked the darkened sea
Oh, I could give him weeping,
Deeper than each in each may see,
Deep in their eyes the moon and sun,
Deepest of all, this intensity,
The communion of silent forces in this world,
Like lovers glancing at the same shining moon,
Not what we say but what, having said, we know,
Let us begin, dear love, where we left off;
Let us forget the graves which lie between
Let us forget the cold, malicious Fate
Forget the deep-ploughed furrows in my brow;
Down in the tender deeps of thy dear eyes
Tie up the broken threads and let us go,
-Ella Wheeler Wilcox
The wind maybe, or the rain,
Or the cry of a bird in the copse outside,
Has brought back the past and its pain.
And I feel, as I sit here thinking,
That the hand of a dead old June
Has reached out hold of my heart's loose strings,
And is drawing them up in tune.
I am tired to-night, and I miss you,
And long for you, love, through tears;
And it seems but to-day that I saw you go—
You, who have been gone for years.
And I seem to be newly lonely—
I, who am so much alone;
And the strings of my heart are well in tune,
But they have not the same old tone.
I am tired; and that old sorrow
Sweeps down the bed of my soul,
As a turbulent river might sudden'y break
way from a dam's control.
It beareth a wreck on its bosom,
A wreck with a snow-white sail;
And the hand on my heart strings thrums away,
But they only respond with a wail.
-Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Long years ago, within a distant clime,
O Love, still longed and looked for, come to me,
-Paul Laurence Dunbar
I said, "My youth is gone
I said, "It is no great sorrow
I thought my youth was gone,
Threw off its ashen cloak,
Oh, I have sown my love so wide
I set my shadow in his sight
In the land of Ra the flaming, by the shores of Nile's slow waters, where the roofs of Thebes were seen,
Oh, the mystery remember of our meeting in the temple, in the aisle of granite, dim and straight,
In the splendor of the ball-room, clinging to me, white and tender, through Time's curtain rift in twain,
Casting off its ancient ashes, flames again our hungry passion, flames and kindles you and me,
As of old, by Nile's slow waters, in that hour of destiny.
-By Valery Brusov,
translated by Avrahm Yarmolinsky
The Poet's Love-Song
In noon-tide hours, O Love, secure and strong,
But in the desolate hour of midnight, when
I heard a cry in the night,
It was your voice I heard,
There has fallen a splendid tear
She is coming, my own, my sweet;
excerpt from Maud
I am not yours, not lost in you,
You love me, and I find you still
Oh plunge me deep in love—put out
Thou and I in spirit land
Thou and I in greenwood shade
Thou and I in yonder star
Thou and I in Norman halls
Thou and I in Germany,
Thou and I in Syrian plains
Thou and I in shadow land
Thou and I in Italy
Thou and I on Southern seas
Thou and I mid Northern snows
Thou and I but yesterday
-Charles G. Leland, 1870
I have dreamed of you so much that you are no longer real.
I have dreamed of you so much that my arms, grown used to being crossed on my
O scales of feeling.
I have dreamed of you so much that surely there is no more time for me to wake up.
I have dreamed of you so much, have walked so much, talked so much, slept so much
Who was it held that Love was soothing or sweet?
Who said that Beauty was ever a gentle joy?
Though mine eyes rose up from thy Beauty's banquet, calm and refreshed,
My soul was linked with thine, through speech and silent hours,
But the body, that wretched slave of the Sultan, Mind,
Nothing was granted him, and every rebellious cell
Night is falling; thou hast departed; I am alone;
Somewhere, Oh, My Beloved One, the house is standing,
But the Place is waiting there; till the Hour shall show it,
Where we shall worship the greatest of all the Gods in his pomp and power,--
Draw close the lattice and the door!
Oh! very nobly is it wrought,—
And so, as each blest page I turn,
I am the mother of sorrows,
I am thy priest and thy poet,
White are my hands as the snowdrop;
Battle and war are my minions,
Speak to me gently or curse me,
Down to the grave will I take thee,
Then shalt thou sing at my coming,
Come to me, brother, when weary,
-Paul Laurence Dunbar