Poems by Author

Symons, Arthur

The Last Memory

When I am old, and think of the old days,
And warm my hands before a little blaze,
Having forgotten love, hope, fear, desire,
I shall see, smiling out of the pale fire,
One face, mysterious and exquisite;
And I shall gaze, and ponder over it,
Wondering, was it Leonardo wrought
That stealthy ardency, where passionate thought
Burns inward, a revealing flame, and glows
To the last ecstasy, which is repose?
Was it Bronzino, whose Borghese eyes?
And, musing thus among my memories,
O unforgotten! you will come to seem,
As pictures do, remembered, some old dream.
And I shall think of you as something strange,
And beautiful, and full of helpless change,
Which I beheld and carried in my heart;
But you, I loved, will have become a part
Of the eternal mystery, and love
Like a dim pain; and I shall bend above
My little fire, and shiver, being cold,
When you are no more young, and I am old.

Symons, Arthur

Variations Upon Love

For God's sake, let me love you, and give over
These tedious protestations of a lover;
We're of one mind to love, and there's no let:
Remember that, and all the rest forget.
And let's be happy, mistress, while we may,
Ere yet to-morrow shall be called to-day.
To-morrow may be heedless, idle-hearted:
One night's enough for love to have met and parted.
Then be it now, and I'll not say that I
In many several deaths for you would die;
And I'll not ask you to declare that you
Will longer love than women mostly do.
Leave words to them whom words, not doings, move,
And let our silence answer for our love.

Oh, woman! I am jealous of the eyes
That look upon you; all my looks are spies
That do but lurk and follow you about,
Restless to find some guilty secret out.
I am unhappy if I see you not,
Unhappy if I see you; tell me what
That smile betokens? what close thing is hid
Beneath the half-way lifting of a lid?
Who is it, tell me, I so dread to meet,
Just as we turn the corner of the street?
Daily I search your baffling eyes to see
Who knows what new admitted company?
And, sick with dread to find the thing I seek,
I tremble at the name you do not speak.

I know your lips are bought like any fruit;
I know your love, and of your love the root;
I know your kisses toll for love that dies
In kissing, to be buried in your eyes;
I know I am degraded for your sake,
And that my shame will not so much as make
Your glory, or be reckoned in the debt
Of memories you are mindful to forget.
All this I know, and, knowing it, I come
Delighted to my daily martyrdom;
And, rich in love beyond the common store,
Become for you a beggar, to implore
The broken crumbs that from your table fall,
Freely, in your indifference, on all.

I loved her; and you say she loved me not.
Well, if I loved her? And if she forgot,
Well, I have not forgotten even yet:
Time, and spent tears, may teach me to forget.
And so she loves another, and did then
When she was heaven and earth to me, and when,
Truly, she made me happy. It may be:
I only know how good she was to me.
Friend, to have loved, to have been made happy thus,
What better fate has life in store for us,
The dream of life from which we have to wake,
Happier, why not? why not for a dream's sake?
To have been loved is well, and well enough
For any man: but 'tis enough to love.