Still in a torrential downpour of grading, but the edge of the storm approaches. In the meantime, a backlog of poem re-drafts, mostly minor touch-ups.
Ayesha in the Fire
A life beyond life no life can now bear,
nor fair beyond fair and yet still more fair,
for fire and light beyond all desire
will quicken the heart to nothing but fire.
Not gods are we, nor burning with grace,
but apes of the gods, and of mortal race,
and though we ascend, as we think, to high throne,
yet still in the darkness we all end alone.
Though shade be deferred by a glorious light,
yet stunted are those who flee from the night,
though long eons stretch, we snap and we die,
and dimness will fall on the brightest of eye,
as darkness will drag us to ash and to dust;
in this fate alone can we mortal men trust.
In ash you will end, and leave nothing but name;
what quickens and slays you are one gloried flame.
Not today, Tantalus, the waters tempt again,
not today, Ixion, the wheel will, burning, turn,
nor even, Tityus, the vulture nip with pain,
nor even, Sisyphus, the stone once rolled return,
but time itself has stopped. The shadow world is calmed
by power born of lyre that covers all with balm.
And you, O most feared god, on dark and judging throne!
You cannot weep. But look, O god, unto your queen,
who weeps beside your seat. You once were god alone,
and knew the name of loss and felt the longing keen.
Behold! The Furies weep, in tears compassionate,
as scourges lie unused from sorrows desolate.
The raindrops fall outside my window
softly into pools in the flower-bed;
my thoughts fall inside, cold and slow,
remembering what you did and said.
The wounds seem healed, but healing is slow
when the heart still bleeds from things you said.
The winds pick up and pull at the walls,
the feelings rise up to tear my calm down;
the rain pours down, and harder falls,
until the world and I might drown.
The wounds seem healed, but soon thought falls
into a sea in which it might drown.
It is hard beginning everything anew,
remembering that human hearts can be true.
It was hard working my way through;
but I'll die before I cry over you.
True love is that which makes the virtues shine.
As this is so, then no true love is mine.
It does not make me seek the juster part,
nor rein in passions raging in the heart,
nor give the strength on which the good relies,
nor sharpen thought to make my head more wise.
It makes me not to rise to be divine,
endure for truth, or take the Good as mine.
Then what can be the good of such a thing,
that makes me want to lesser living cling?
The golden crown upon my head I give,
or would, if golden crown I had to give,
and with it all the life I have to live,
if life were something such as I could give;
for when and where you dwell true good shall live,
and there I too must wish to love and live,
and, though it cost me dear, I dearly love
to love your life and give to you my love.
I love you! Would that you returned the same.
Yet see! I see you love me not the same,
and that your love is mostly love in name.
From day to day your look is not the same;
the tone will change with which you say my name.
Indifference - for that alone can be its name -
it wreathes your look; it stifles every love,
and proves, perhaps, that you will never love.
And yet I still somehow in hope must live.
Without a victor's crown a man will try to live
through other joys, and joy may sometimes give.
Though not the greatest way a man may live,
a man unloved may still his own love give
until new fortunes loves anew will to him give.
Undaunted I to you will give my love
until the day I too am crowned with love.