It falls to us who are born late
In this Late Age where we await
The end of Man to see Man’s End
Reading what the prophecies portend
In the pounding fist of Fate.
Time seems to accelerate
That the world deteriorates
And that the soul of Man should bend:
It falls to us.
Dark upon dark is the state
That against all truth impends:
The thief is high, the dead once great,
And those left to illuminate
Are they who can the dark transcend:
It falls to us.
You’re quiet with me, so let me watch you
Asking what your far-flown stare may reveal,
Or your happy glance, the rosy hue
Of your budding cheeks — or your naked heel.
Do you feel my eyes explore your face?
Slipping into the your mouth with its still tongue,
Measuring your pulse as our sad hearts pace,
Kissing your ears when poetry is sung?
How these eyes thirst to see you dance and smile
In the tropical sun or the tropical dark,
Or find you in an olive grove or hidden isle
Where mournful nightingales out-sing the lark,
And where you lean to me and secretly,
Your open mouth whispers your heart to me.
When you see the hour, you will know
I, too, wait for the hours to pass
Until we spend our hours together and grow
In love, and love has its reward at last.
I know time may tick by slowly,
I know it will not always pass with ease,
And though you are as rich as I am lowly
Remember me with the hour if you please:
Spend a second to say a prayer,
Give me a moment’s thought with some fondness:
For every prayer for us I will share,
And every thought you give I will caress:
So place may divide us as willed by fate,
But time unites our love — and I will wait.
Zealously I sought one to trust and now
All my dreams I spread before you, and I
Reach for your hand to point a quetzal
By some far tree, some place mystical.
For place your hand in mine and unify
All our dreams — we’ll go to Cuzco or Macao,
Bayeux or Beaune, Chinon or Chenonceau,
Ibarra or Rapa Nui, or dream
Nestled together beneath magnolia
Trees of places dreamt, undreamt, near, or far —
Only to fall asleep beneath a shooting star
Mirrored in the night of your eyes: I may
Amaze myself in your stars and moonbeam,
Relieved of life — will you relieve our woe?
In the afternoon my thoughts turn to you,
You with the dark eyes, rosy cheeks, quiet lips,
You who makes my days and nights anew,
You for whom I long, you whom I miss;
But we must love by night and not by day,
Unless we love in some quiet shadow
Or slip away, eloped to some far meadow,
Or go to where our names are far away.
By day I keep our secret in my heart
(I love you in the shadows of my heart)
And yet I long to make our secret known
If only in a quiet, private art
Whispered through a veil when we are alone.
I watch the sun and yearn for darkness and moonlight.
I dream we walk beside a stream,
I dream the sunlight glows a pale gold,
And that we lie upon the grass and dream
That Paradise is present to behold.
But you dream elsewhere and far from me
While I sigh away this distance and gasp
Thinking the distance will not last and we
Will be side by side, hand clasped in handclasp.
Then could we dream our dreams together
And wake to find ourselves in each other’s eyes
And never feel loss, or doubt, or doubt whether
The love we share, we’ll share in Paradise —
We will but only ask from time to time
If this is Paradise or just sublime.
Zanzibar has much pass along its coasts
And many are the wonders of the world
Riches of gold bartered beneath lampposts
In towns across the seas and deserts hurled:
Forgotten near you are treasurers from afar;
You are rarer than the desert pearl,
Richer than the coasts of Zanzibar.