Thy jewels mock me with their glittering eyes.
I may not woo thee, dear, with gems and gold;
Ah, let me thrust aside their beauty cold,
To kiss the place where each bright ruby lies!
Gold is but dust! Oh, listen, World’s Delight,
Love is the flame of which e’en God is made—
The loss of love should make thy soul afraid;—
Alas! she shakes at me her bangles bright.
Lo, for one word I have endured all pain,
And now a word hath brought me sore distress.
Yet I did speak because of tenderness;
Alas that Truth must ever warn in vain!
In hopeless longing all men to thy door
Draw nigh, then turn away with anguished hearts—
Yet love thee still! Oh, strange thy subtle arts,
That keep them all thy slaves for evermore.
And thus I love thee, Soul of all the World,
Though oft mine eyes must weep their tears of blood,
That sear and drown as in a fiery flood,
Though all my heart must in the flame be hurled.
O love, thy hair! thy locks of night and musk!
The very wind therein doth lose his way,
While in the perfumed darkness he would stray;
And my heart, too, is lost in scented dusk.
O love, thy hair! such heaven hath never been!
Where’er amid the clatter of the mart,
They talk of Gold, of Wars, of Death, of Art,
Still comes thine all-compelling head between.
And when, relenting, thou dost let me pour
My heart’s love in thine ear, beneath that veil
That still o’er souls of all men must prevail;
Ah, then, ’twere well the sun should rise no more.
Thy crescent brows irradiate the night;—
Love, of thy lips and tresses give thou me—
Thy breast is like the restless, heaving sea;
Thine eyes are stars of sorrow and delight.
And yet thy love is hollow as a shell
Until thine eyes shall have been dimmed by tears,
Until thy heart shall have been torn by fears—
Oh, then, then only, shalt thou love me well.