Than aptest mortal nuptials are;
But nuptials wait you such as now you dare not guess.’
’In all I thee obey! And thus I know
That all is well:
Should’st thou me tell
Out of thy warm caress to go
And roll my body in the biting snow,
My very body’s joy were but increased;
More pleasant ’tis to please thee than be pleased.
Thy love has conquer’d me; do with me as thou wilt,
And use me as a chattel that is thine!
Kiss, tread me under foot, cherish or beat,
Sheathe in my heart sharp pain up to the hilt,
Invent what else were most perversely sweet;
Nay, let the Fiend drag me through dens of guilt;
Let Earth, Heav’n, Hell
’Gainst my content combine;
What could make nought the touch that made thee mine!
Ah, say not yet, farewell!’
’Nay, that’s the Blackbird’s note, the sweet Night’s knell.
Behold, Beloved, the penance you would brave!’
’Curs’d when it comes, the bitter thing we crave!
Thou leav’st me now, like to the moon at dawn,
A little, vacuous world alone in air.
I will not care!
When dark comes back my dark shall be withdrawn!
For ’tis with me
As when the cup the Child scoops in the sand
Fills, and is part and parcel of the Sea.
I’ll say it to myself and understand.
Go as thou wilt and come! Lover divine,
Thou still art jealously and wholly mine;
And this thy kiss
A separate secret by none other scann’d;
Though well I wis
The whole of life is womanhood to thee,
Momently wedded with enormous bliss.
Rainbow, that hast my heaven sudden spann’d,
I am the apple of thy glorious gaze,
Each else life cent’ring to a different blaze;
And, nothing though I be
But now a no more void capacity for thee,
’Tis all to know there’s not in air or land
Another for thy Darling quite like me!
Mine arms no more thy restless plumes compel!
Whilst thou art gone, I’ll search the weary meads
To deck my bed with lilies of fair deeds!
And, if thou choose to come this eventide,
A touch, my Love, will set my casement wide.
Be my dull days
Music, at least, with thy remember’d praise!’
’Bitter, sweet, few and veil’d let be
Your songs of me.
Preserving bitter, very sweet,
Few, that so all may be discreet,
And veil’d, that, seeing, none may see.’
What’s thine errand now?
What awful pleasure do thine eyes bespeak,
What shame is in thy childish cheek,
What terror on thy brow?
Is this my Psyche, once so pale and meek?
Thy body’s sudden beauty my sight old
Stings, like an agile bead of boiling gold,
And all thy life looks troubled like a tree’s
Whose boughs wave many ways in one great breeze.’