The bird has chosen, and the world of spring
Under Love's banner is enrolled, but thou,
Chained to the iron couch of wedlock fast,
Art mourning while all nature else doth sing
The deep delights of Love. Still on thy brow
Lurks the dark shade, thy smile is overcast
With fear of the world's thought, and lips of love
Pale at that spectre, imminent, immense,
Cold Chastity, the child of Impotence,
And eyes grow dim with grey distrust thereof.
Forget, dear heart, forget; life's glow is sweet:
Come to a lover's arms that grow divine
At the first eloquent embrace of thine,
While pulses in wild unison warmly beat.
I know a vally walled with glistening steep
Of fire-hewn rock, and stately cliff of ice,
Filled with green lawns and forests black with pine,
Where the clear stream shall sing us into sleep
With murmuring faintly, and devine device:
Come with me there, and we will surely twine
Bright wreaths of Alpine gentian for thine head,
Those glowing tresses, auburn in the sun,
And in the night, dim fires of matchless red
To hold my love, and lead my kisses on
From night to night upon the purple bed
Of dark embraces; till the summer is gone
We will forget in love the world of tears
Whose tumult reaches not our amorous ears.
Come with me thither. Let the chaster snow
Blush at the sunset, when our limbs grow fain
To twine close caressing, let it blush
Redder at sunrise, when our eyelids grow
Weary of kissing, and our arms again
Slowly unclasp, and our fair cheeks do flush
With memory's modesty. The mountains glow
Warmer and whiter, dreamland's power shall wane
While the sun tints the beauty of the bush
And all the forest with his finger-tips
Of budding fire, and we surprised will wake
While Shadow's brush in darker colour dips,
And roam about the valley, and will take
Fresh delicate delight, with smiling lips.
Summer may die, but on the azure sea
That girdles warmer lands the sun will gleam;
There will we wander, over dale and how,
Sweet with green sward, faint flower, and tender tree.
There all the winter may we idly dream
Still of our love, and there forgetfulness
Of the past sorrow may steal o'er thy brow
In the new birth of stainless happiness,
Rich harvest of the blossoms desire,
Satisfied alway, yet for ever fresh
In hearts so passionate, and there may'st thou
Love to thy fulness, nor for ever tire
Of linking me to thee with dainty mesh
Of auburn ripples of delicious fire.
Doubt not, dear love, nor hesitate to say;
Blush if thou wilt; I love to see thy cheek
Grow hot with love-thoughts - let the word be said:
Between shy finger whisper me the 'yea!'
My soul will leap to hear, as thine to speak.
Remember Love, forget the loveless bed;
Forget thy husband, and the cruel wreck
Of thy dear life on Wedlock's piteous sands;
Love's all in all, link on the golden bands
Forged in heaven without flaw or fleck.
I know thine answer by these amorous hands
That touch me thus to tempt me, by the kiss
Whose sudden passion burns upon my neck
Thy heart clings to me in perfect 'Yes!'