Friday, September 28, 2012

The Sunset Sonnet

O Love
I have long thought
That thou'd departed
This lonely sphere
Once called my heart
Departed by the door
That opens only once
For each peasant and king
And closes on the charnel steps
And yet even now 
In night's velvet embrace 
With soft whisper you approach
On feather tips so assured 
What can I say now?
Shall I cast thee out?
Now at the moment when 
Thy blossoms finally have 
Broken through the ice
So frigid and with torpidless kiss
Breathed by Boriads of my past
Enlocked beneath their hold
So striving long
Bitterness then born 
And finally thou breaketh forth 
And Spring's rosey breath doth kiss
Sweetness once more in the air 
A song so long now past
When minutes count as days 
But now 
Now thou hath returned 
The morning rose-tainted
Has touched the midday mark 
And yet also I know too well
Your return is but a breath
So brief, and then the dusk 
Were I but some hapless fool
To wander ever in those shores 
Where twilight never dares 
To kiss the unfailing noon 
Where I able in those arts 
Favored as patriarchs of old
To command and stop the descent 
And make the sun stand ever still
At my commands
But no artifice or craft have I
Save these poor and fallow words
So shall I trap thee in my mind
Distill thy steps within a page
And make a mark thy prisonkeep
No more, no more I beg 
Love thou art my jailer
Not mine to keep
Ever long, O Sweet Torturer of my soul
In hours deep thy marks were set
And I here try my futile sleep
Knowing full well thy brand is met
And shall I erase the sorrow dear
No, no come now like the flood
And rise to bury my heart and soul in twain
Let those depths, galleon-plowed 
Be my ever enclosing shroud
Shall Love's dry sorrow come 
And now bring the dagger and the vial
Pay thy forty ducats
And meet thy timeless end
For no happy dagger my sheath will find
Now only
Now, Love I know 
Oh how I do know
That thou art here 
And walk the circles of this world
And have touched this humble poet
And have kissed his tears 
That none shall ever know
He has surely found his knees 
For it is on them thou doth leave him
Be gentle, O Love
As thy dusk approaches him
No commands left in this mouth
A dry cavern to thy dance 
But let thy departure be swift
Let the strings be cut all at once
No tearing and unwinding seams
Bring all thy darkest sorrow
And then thy sweetest dreams
For Love I have known thee
In the midnight hour thy kiss
Has lingered long upon my lips
Have wet my cheeks 
With thy fonts of salt
And traced thy paths within my mind
I know that darkest night
And the wings of cold despair
Unfold to herald the dawn
Of the new day untouched yet by cold
So I shall gladly kiss this dusk farewell
And when midnight's shroud is pulled tight
I shall spread the wings of hope
And learn to sail the star filled night
Into that violet morn
And when the last star turns above the hills
Anon the daybreak shines 
I shall follow in its dance 
And look once more for thee, O Love 
But now
While the hour has grown old
I'll raise a toast to what I know
I toast all women, for in thy rank is she
Who Love next shall dawn for me
And I toast thee, O Love 
For binging her unto me 
Even if only for a season it be
And I toast thee, Master Shakespeare
For it is thanks to thy quill
That we poor poets learned to love
And after heartbreak keep loving still
The dusk is here now
And night follows soon
The daybreak also
And then the sun anon

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