Analogies of Love
It is like music: First, a tune (your own)
Is played and heard, in living – and seems sweet.
Its melody designs a marble throne
Which is not yet quite cold until you meet
Her. Then, subito piano! You defer
And take note of a gentler, better haunt,
Immediately attractive: you prefer
Not what you hear, or see but what you don’t:
Your theme – yourself – she is quite Other, and
Her music shivers softly down your back:
Your throne becomes quite dull – you quickly stand
And know that all your notes without hers lack
True music – and that harmony doth dawn
When your two subjects join and you are born
It is like modern verse: at first it seems
Without cohesion and not sensible.
You cannot sense its reasons, rhymes or themes
Then, something clear, and yet intangible,
Arrests you – you are captive in its power
Your eye becomes accustomed to her lines
Your hand begins to trace her meanings. Hour
Passes hour – each minute brings its finds
Before you – not as criticism can
Illuminate Intention – but as yet
The Poem had herself – as God to Man
Revealed herself as Verse and Reader met
And grew to know each other int’mately
Still separate, but one, intellig’bly.
It is like nothing else that you will know
Or could – except you know it more than aught
Else that your sense or mind or language taught:
You feel it – it is both the greatest woe
And greater Joy – and both these feelings grow
So that you think the world will come to nought
Without it – that which can’t be caught
By tongue or measurement – by friend or foe:
For there is no distinction in this thing
Which is no thing and yet the heart of man
Which beats within his breast that he might live:
It is his life – without which no birds sing
And he is ghostly spirit-mind-flesh, wan.
For only in Love can he learn to give.
Were there an university of Love,
Whose colleges each housed the qualities
Men have, to be transformed to those above
Those of mere mortals; what modest degrees
Would be awarded those who stay the course –
Who listen to the lectures from the vast
Host of alumni, who, in poesy pause
Their usual labour to give up the past,
The future and the present with their rhymes –
Made not for idle tongues whose fancies flee,
Down corridors built in the fickle times
Before the grander halls of poetry
Were carved to honour thee! Then I should go
And study there – that all, your name, might know.
What moves men most to action, if not love,
Which is no thing, yet everything and more?
Which, when possessed maketh the owner poor
But given, freely, maketh more like Jove
He who was lowly – but now soars above
What he imagined; and doth rage a war
Within his breast, twixt Feeling and the Law
Of natural reasoning, who e’er asks proof.
And yet there is no greater testament
To Her reality and noble sense
Than what is writ in all our poetry;
Whose words alone are not what lovers meant
Of love; which is more dangerous and intense;
But it is the desire to write for thee.
Not until hell’s lake of fire doth freeze –
Long after I am buried in the ground,
Where still my spirit sings this lover’s sound,
That I will ever write – thy soul to please.
And even if the sun and moon both die,
Return our sphere to dust and without form
As was in the beginning: no calm storm
No paradox can shake my constancy.
Though Time may make to part us physically
(For half a time) Time’s wiser than to try
To break asunder this dear unity
Our love – Life’s Purpose answers all men’s ‘why?’
True love that makes for Helen’s jealousy
For no one wrote of fairer grace than thee.
They say a blast began the universe,
And it expanded with a force so great,
Some say it was a blessing, some, a curse –
God or Selection did this world create.
But now the universe is running down.
Its love, it seems, is tired, and the spheres
Are to collide. And shall we be full grown,
When we’re extinguished? It’s not so severe:
For Love explodes itself into my heart
With double power – pulling me to thee
Fiercer and faster than when we did start
Both slow and gentle ’cross Eternity.
With fire such as the summer could not last.
In Love, naught’s lost: all’s now, to come and past.
The vaults of heaven
When I in silent wonder meditate
On all the majesty that I perceive:
The paradigm of Faith that we create
Between our spirits, which choose to believe;
What secret poetries I hear draw me
Up to the silky moons of paradise,
And down the darks dews of a silv’ry nave:
The great cathedral of Romance, which we
Have built together; where the holy spice –
The incense of our love – burns and doth save
Us from ourselves, alone, and turns all thoughts
To Joy – so that our hearts b’come heaven’s vaults.