My Desire

A poem by Laurence Hope (Adela Florence Cory Nicolson)

Fate has given me many a gift
To which men most aspire,
Lovely, precious and costly things,
But not my heart's desire.

Many a man has a secret dream
Of where his soul would be,
Mine is a low verandah'd house
In a tope beside the sea.

Over the roof tall palms should wave,
Swaying from side to side,
Every night we should fall asleep
To the rhythm of the tide.

The dawn should be gay with song of birds,
And the stir of fluttering wings.
Surely the joy of life is hid
In simple and tender things!

At eve the waves would shimmer with gold
In the rosy sunset rays,
Emerald velvet flats of rice
Would rest the landward gaze.

A boat must rock at the laterite steps
In a reef-protected pool,
For we should sail through the starlit night
When the winds were calm and cool.

I am so tired of all this world,
Its folly and fret and care.
Find me a little scented home
Amongst thy loosened hair.

Give me a soft and secret place
Against thine amber breast,
Where, hidden away from all mankind,
My soul may come to rest.

Many a man has a secret dream
Of where his life might be;
Mine is a lovely, lonely place
With sunshine and the sea.

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