Saturday, January 14, 2017

RETROSPECT, a poem

HOW had it been, my belovèd,
Had Fate united us sooner,—
In the bright days when our hearts
First dreamed of loving?—

When, a thrice exquisite vision,
Hope, all her lute-strings unbroken,
Smilingly beckoned us on,
Wooed us to follow?—

When our youth, eager, expectant,—
Trusting the north as the south wind,
Hardly, its pulses a-throb,
Staid life's unfolding?

Had I been more to you, dearer,
Bearing my myrtle and roses,
Than, as I came, crowned with rue,
Weighted with sorrow,

Seeing both light and its shadow,
Taught both of truth and illusion,
Knowing earth's rapture and pain,
Sharing earth's travail?

More had I been to you—dearer?...
Deep in my heart a voice answers,
Healing the sense of unworth,
Whispering comfort:—

"Love takes no counsel of prudence;
Wherefore men, timid and doubting,
Marvelling oft at his choice,
Charge him with blindness;

"But—this believe!—not Apollo,
Clothed in his glory celestial,
Bears such a light in his breast
As that which Eros

"Holds in the heart of his darkness,
Guards as a torch never failing,
Given to guide him where waits
His sole desire!"
"Retrospect" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Lyrics of Life (1909) and Poems (1916) Volume II.

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