Two Songs by Sitara, of Kashmir

A poem by Laurence Hope (Adela Florence Cory Nicolson)

Beloved! your hair was golden
As tender tints of sunrise,
As corn beside the River
In softly varying hues.
I loved you for your slightness,
Your melancholy sweetness,
Your changeful eyes, that promised
What your lips would still refuse.

You came to me, and loved me,
Were mine upon the River,
The azure water saw us
And the blue transparent sky;
The Lotus flowers knew it,
Our happiness together,
While life was only River,
Only love, and you and I.

Love wakened on the River,
To sounds of running water,
With silver Stars for witness
And reflected Stars for light;
Awakened to existence,
With ripples for first music
And sunlight on the River
For earliest sense of sight.

Love grew upon the River
Among the scented flowers,
The open rosy flowers
Of the Lotus buds in bloom -
Love, brilliant as the Morning,
More fervent than the Noon-day,
And tender as the Twilight
In its blue transparent gloom.

Love died upon the River!
Cold snow upon the mountains,
The Lotus leaves turned yellow
And the water very grey.
Our kisses faint and falter,
The clinging hands unfasten,
The golden time is over
And our passion dies away.

Away. To be forgotten,
A ripple on the River,
That flashes in the sunset,
That flashed, - and died away.

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