Across the quiet pastures of my soul
The invading army marched in splendid might
My few poor forces fled beyond control,
Scattered, defeated, hidden in the night.
My fields were green, their hedges white with May,
With gold of buttercups made bright and fair,
The careless conquerors did not even stay
To gather one of all the blossoms there.
Only when they had passed, the fields were brown,
The grass and blossoms trampled in the mud:
The flowering hedges withered and torn down,
And no one richer by a single bud.
Two strangers, from opposing poles,
Meet in the torrid zone of Love:
And their desire seems set above
The limitation of their souls.
This is the trap; this is the snare,
This is the false, enchanting light,
And when it smoulders into night,
How can each know the other is there?
They own no bond of common speech;
Each, from far shores by wild winds brought,
Gropes for some cord of common thought
To draw the other within reach.
Each when the dark tide drowns their star,
Cries out, “Thou art not one with me:
One flesh we seemed when eyes could see,
But now, how far thou art! How far!”
Each calling, “Come! be mine! be wise!”
Stands obstinately in his place,
How can these two come face to face,
Till light spring from their meeting eyes?
Could both but once cry, “Far thou art,
But I am coming!” How the beat
Of waves that part them would retreat,
Resurge and find them, heart to heart!
The way of love.
The butterfly loves the rose,
He flutters around her bed,
Till the soft curled leaves unclose,
And she raises her darling head.
He whispers of dawn and of dew,
Of love, and the heart of love,
Of worship, timid and true,
And she takes no joy thereof.
But when, through the noon’s blind heat,
The arrogant bee flaunts by,
She yields him her heart’s hid sweet,
And he leaves her alone, to die.
The depth of her dying bliss
Her grief-white butterfly knows:
And the bee laughs low in the kiss
Of another, a redder rose.
To one who pleaded for candour in love.
Here is the dim enchanted wood
Your face, a mystery divine,
But half revealed, half understood,
Appears the counterpart of mine.
Beyond the wood the daylight lies;
Cruel and hard, it lies in wait
To steal the magic from your eyes
And from your lips the thrill of fate.
Ah, stay with me a little while
Here, where the magic shadows rest,
Where all my world is in your smile
And all my heaven on your breast.
Ah no!—cling close, what need to move,
What need to advance or explore?
We came here blindly, led by love,
Who will not lead us any more.