The gardens gleam with roses, the sun is setting soon
By the statues in their poses, I’ll await you ‘neath the moon.
The shining stars will totter, as the wind wafts from the bay,
With scent of wine and water; Oh, where have you gone to-day?
Spy the marble busts around me, grinning suitors in their prime
“Oh, accept this ring and love me!” she can hear the wedding chime.
Sculpted hearts swiftly beating, he approaches, holds her tight
The statues’ lips are meeting, two more lovers in the night.
For countless golden ages have the seraphs stood unaltered,
In warmth and windy rages, neither angel failed nor faltered
Oh, but we who are as permanent as an urn of unbaked clay
Should fear to face the firmament; where have you gone to-day?
The Temple’s chimes are stinging, for the marriage month has passed,
I hear the choir’s singing, and the drummer’s mournful blast;
And when song gives way to longing, and the drumming skips a beat,
The wretched warbled wronging of a passing raven’s tweet.
Little joy I have to gain, and less yet left to lose,
My hope a wretched blain; it seems I must refuse
To outlast the lamenting hour in the stretching evening gloom
While the lilies are in flower and my misery abloom.
And as Death strummed his meter, and away my spirit flew
What sadness could be sweeter than the joy I shared with you?
For to-day, absent bliss, only suffering and sorrow,
I will face, in the abyss, no new mourning on the morrow.
(Inspired by “In the Early, Pearly Morning”)