An Arthurian Miscellany at sacred-texts.com
GUINEVERE TO LANCELOT
H. C. C.
The night is here, and thou art with me still,
Loved one, although beyond the reach of hands
Eager to clasp thee; and I long to fill
Again this soul more dry than desert sands
Now thou art gone, with the deep-flowing streams
Of thy most gracious prescence. Soon it will
Return all life-like in the land of dreams.
How shall our struggling hearts, so many years
As may perchance be thine and mine, sweet Love,
Out-face this ceaseless storm of hopes and fears,
For aye within us, round, below, above?
Oh ask me not; for whether joy or tears
Remain for us, we must bear silently,
Dearest, and with a love that cannot die.
How do the angels reason of our love?
And those blest spirits that are gone before,
Who, now rejoicing in their place above,
Walked with us on this melancoly shore
Of life, years, years ago; will they forgive
In us such earth-born folly? Or once more
Could we with such as they are choose to live?
Ah weary hearts, encrusted o'er with dross
Caught up from this vile world! Can we be sure,
When of this lower life we suffer loss,
They will beat freely in an air so pure,
Fit for the souls who enter into light?
Such dross is in the grain; it must endure
Our own, unchanging still, in death's despite.
But come what will, to the last agony,
My choice is made; I cannot yield thee up.
Dross or pure gold, I give it all to thee.
The pearls of all my life shall in thy cup
Be thrown and melted; they are nought to me,
Save as they make some bubbling sparkle rise
To see itself one instant in thine eyes.
Next: An Epigram, by Thomas Campion