Misadventure

A poem by Edward Powys Mathers

Ever at the far side of the current
The fishes hurl and swim,
For pelicans and great birds
Watch and go fishing
On the bank-side.

No man dare go alone
In the dim great forest,
But if I were as strong
As the green tiger
I would go.

The holy swan on the sea
Wishes to pass over with his wings,
But I think it would be hard
To go so far.

If you are still pure,
Tell me, darling;
If you are no longer
Clear like an evening star,
You are the heart of a great tree
Eaten by insects.
Why do you lower your eyes?
Why do you not look at me?

When the blue elephant
Finds a lotus by the water-side
He takes it up and eats it.
Lemons are not sweeter than sugar.

If I had the moon at home
I would open my house wide
To the four winds of the horizon,
So that the clouds that surround her
Should escape and be shaken away.

Song of the Love Nights of Laos.

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