But all this talk of cold philosophy
Is but to bind the wounds that thou hast made;
I sit me down within the Plane-tree’s shade,
And strive to conquer all my hopes of thee.
And, lo! I see that quivering is the Plane,
Because the Cypress in the garden grows;
His finger-tips of green he outward throws,
That softly he may touch his love again.
My soul is like thy lute of many strings,
And on my heart thou playest all these songs;
For thy soft hand my straining spirit longs—
Hark, from thy touch what endless music springs!
More sacred is thy voice to me, O Love,
Than all the words that God’s great Prophet spake.
Sweeter to hear thy lips my poor name take,
Than know ’tis written in the Book above.
Thou art serene and silent as the night,
And yet thy very calmness wounds the most,
And he that might defy thee is a ghost—
Dead is the heart that can resist thy might.
Unto thy face why liken changeful fire?
Or lead thee where the swaying cypress grows?
The cypress I abjure, and mock the rose,
Whene’er I gaze upon my Heart’s Desire!
My pen and I do naught but write of thee,
And thereby show this constant love of ours.
When faults we seem to see in bitter hours,
A sword there lieth ’twixt my pen and me.
The veil that hides the brightness of thine eyes
Is as the cloud that wraps the moon’s soft sheen;
Thy brows are bows, thy glances arrows keen,
Wherewith to make my wounded heart thy prize.
The comb may touch thy hair, perfumed and curled;
The mirror sees thy beauty face to face.
Would I were Kohl, thine eyes should be my place;
Would I were Henna, and thy hair my world!
Thy light heart holds, alas! no love for me!
If God should look with pity on my pain,
And make me tears, thy tears, like silver rain,
Thou wouldst deny me this sad ecstasy.