Ah, delicate breezes of daybreak, so scentless, refreshing
And yet—had my midnight been lonely you had been less lovely to me.
This coolness comes laden with solace, because I am hot from the fire,
As often devotion to virtue arises from sated desire.
Gautama came forth from his Palace; he felt the night wind on his face, He loathed, as he left, the embraces, the softness and scent of the place, But, ah, if his night had been loveless, with no one to solace his need, He never had written that sermon which men so devotedly read.
Ah, River, thy gentle persuasion! I doubt if
I seek any more
The beauty that hurts me and holds me beneath the low roof on the shore.
I loved thee, ay, loved—for a season, but thou, was it love or desire,
The glow of the Sun in his glory, or only the heat of a fire?
I think not that thou wilt regret me, for thou art
too joyous and fair,
So many are keen to caress thee, thy passionate midnights to share.
Thou wilt not have time to remember, before a new love-knot is tied,
The stranger who loved thee and left thee, who drifted away on the tide.
Two things I have found that are lovely, though most
things are sullen and grey;
One: Peace—but what mortal has found him; and Passion—but when would he stay?
So I shall return to my River, and floating at ease on its breast,
Shall find, what Love never has given—a sense of most infinite rest.
When the years have gone by and departed, what thought
shall I keep of this land?
A curl of thy waist-reaching-tresses? a flower received from thy hand?
Nay, if I can fathom the future, I fancy my relic will be
Some shell, my beloved one, the River, has stol’n from the store of the sea.
Listen, Beloved, the Casurinas quiver,
Each tassel prays the wind to set it free,
Hark to the frantic sobbing of the river,
Wild to attain extinction in the sea.
All Nature blindly struggles to dissolve
In other forms and forces, thus to solve
The painful riddle of identity.
Ah, that my soul might lose itself in thee!
Yet, my Beloved One, wherefore seek I union,
Since there is no such thing in all the world,—
Are not our spirits linked in close communion,—
And on my lips thy clinging lips are curled?
Thy tender arms are round my shoulders thrown,
I hear thy heart more loudly than my own,
And yet, to my despair, I know thee far,
As in the stellar darkness, star from star.
Even in times when love with bounteous measure
A simultaneous joy on us has shed,
In the last moment of delirious pleasure,
Ere the sense fail, or any force be fled,
My rapture has been even as a wall,
Shutting out any thought of thee at all!
My being, by its own delight possessed,
Forgot that it was sleeping on thy breast.