EYES AND LIPS
Our silent eyes alone interpreted
The new-born feeling in the heart of each:
In yours I read your sorrow without speech,
Your lonely struggle in their tears unshed.
Behind their dreamy sweetness, as a veil,
I saw the moving lights of trouble shine;
And then my eyes were brightened as with wine,
My spirit reeled to see your face grow pale!
Our deepening love, that is not yet allowed
Another language than the eyes, doth learn
To speak it perfectly: above the crowd
Our looks exchange avowals and desires,—
Like wave-divided beacon lights that burn,
And talk to one another by their fires.
When I embrace her in a fragrant shrine
Of climbing roses, my first kiss shall fall
On you, sweet eyes, that mutely told me all,—
Through you my soul will rise to make her mine.
Upon your drooping lids, blue-veined and fair,
The touch of tenderness I first will lay,
You springs of joy, lights of my gloomy day,
Whose dear discovered secret bade me dare!
And when you open, eyes of my fond dove,
Your look will shine with new delight, made sure
By this forerunner of a faithful love.
Tis just, dear eyes, so pensive and so pure,
That you should bear the sealing kisses true
Of love unhoped that came to me through you.
This was my thought; but when beneath
That hides the lonely bench where lovers rest,
In friendly dusk I held her on my breast
For one brief moment,—while I saw you close,
Dear, yielding eyes, as if your lids, blue-veined
And pure, were meekly fain at last to bear
The proffered homage of my wistful prayer,—
In that high moment, by your grace obtained,
Forgetting your avowals, your alarms,
Your anguish and your tears, sweet weary eyes,
Forgetting that you gave her to my arms,
I broke my promise; and my first caress,
Ungrateful, sought her lips in sweet surprise,—
Her lips, which breathed a word of tenderness!
When first upon my brow I felt your kiss,
A sudden splendour filled me, like the ray
That promptly runs to crown the hills with bliss
Of purple dawn before the golden day,
And ends the gloom it crosses at one leap.
My brow was not unworthy your caress;
For some foreboding joy had bade me keep
From all affront the place your lips would bless.
Yet when your mouth upon my mouth did
The royal touch, no rapture made me thrill,
But I remained confused, ashamed, and still.
Beneath your kiss, my queen without a stain,
I felt,—like ghosts who rise at Judgment Day,—
A throng of ancient kisses vile and vain!