Palm Trees by the Sea

A poem by Laurence Hope (Adela Florence Cory Nicolson)

Love, let me thank you for this!
Now we have drifted apart,
Wandered away from the sea, -
For the fresh touch of your kiss,
For the young warmth of your heart,
For your youth given to me.

Thanks: for the curls of your hair,
Softer than silk to the hand,
For the clear gaze of your eyes.
For yourself: delicate, fair,
Seen as you lay on the sand,
Under the violet skies.

Thanks: for the words that you said, -
Secretly, tenderly sweet,
All through the tropical day,
Till, when the sunset was red,
I, who lay still at your feet,
Felt my life ebbing away,

Weary and worn with desire,
Only yourself could console.
Love let me thank you for this!
For that fierce fervour and fire
Burnt through my lips to my soul
From the white heat of your kiss!

You were the essence of Spring,
Wayward and bright as a flame:
Though we have drifted apart,
Still how the syllables sing
Mixed in your musical name,
Deep in the well of my heart!

Once in the lingering light,
Thrown from the west on the Sea,
Laid you your garments aside,
Slender and goldenly bright,
Glimmered your beauty, set free,
Bright as a pearl in the tide.

Once, ere the thrill of the dawn
Silvered the edge of the sea,
I, who lay watching you rest, -
Pale in the chill of the morn
Found you still dreaming of me
Stilled by love's fancies possessed.

Fallen on sorrowful days,
Love, let me thank you for this,
You were so happy with me!
Wrapped in Youth's roseate haze,
Wanting no more than my kiss
By the blue edge of the sea!

Ah, for those nights on the sand
Under the palms by the sea,
For the strange dream of those days
Spent in the passionate land,
For your youth given to me,
I am your debtor always!

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