The Grave said to the Rose,
’What of the dews of morn,
Love’s flower, what end is theirs?’
’And what of souls outworn,
Of them whereon doth close
The tomb’s mouth unawares?’
The Rose said to the Grave.
The Rose said, ’In the shade
From the dawn’s tears is made
A perfume faint and strange,
Amber and honey sweet.’
’And all the spirits fleet
Do suffer a sky-change,
More strangely than the dew,
To God’s own angels new,’
The Grave said to the Rose.
We that with like hearts love, we lovers twain,
New wedded in the village by thy fane,
Lady of all chaste love, to thee it is
We bring these amaranths, these white lilies,
A sign, and sacrifice; may Love, we pray,
Like amaranthine flowers, feel no decay;
Like these cool lilies may our loves remain,
Perfect and pure, and know not any stain;
And be our hearts, from this thy holy hour,
Bound each to each, like flower to wedded flower.
When you are very old, at evening
You’ll sit and spin beside the fire, and say,
Humming my songs, ’Ah well, ah well-a-day!
When I was young, of me did Ronsard sing.’
None of your maidens that doth hear the thing,
Albeit with her weary task foredone,
But wakens at my name, and calls you one
Blest, to be held in long remembering.
I shall be low beneath the earth, and laid
On sleep, a phantom in the myrtle shade,
While you beside the fire, a grandame grey,
My love, your pride, remember and regret;
Ah, love me, love! we may be happy yet,
And gather roses, while ’t is called to-day.
Within the sand of what far river lies
The gold that gleams in tresses of my Love?
What highest circle of the Heavens above
Is jewelled with such stars as are her eyes?
And where is the rich sea whose coral vies
With her red lips, that cannot kiss enough?
What dawn-lit garden knew the rose, whereof
The fled soul lives in her cheeks’ rosy guise?
What Parian marble that is loveliest
Can match the whiteness of her brow and breast?
When drew she breath from the Sabaean glade?
Oh happy rock and river, sky and sea,
Gardens, and glades Sabaean, all that be
The far-off splendid semblance of my maid!
Remy Belleau, 1560.
April, pride of woodland ways,
Of glad days,
April, bringing hope of prime,
To the young flowers that beneath
Their bud sheath
Are guarded in their tender time;
April, pride of fields that be
Green and free,
That in fashion glad and gay,
Stud with flowers red and blue,
Their jewelled spring array;