The Burden Of Desire

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

I.

In some glad way I know thereof:
A garden glows down in my heart,
Wherein I meet and often part
With many an ancient tale of love
A Romeo garden, banked with bloom,
And trellised with the eglantine;
In which a rose climbs to a room,
A balcony one mass of vine,
Dim, haunted of perfume
A balcony, whereon she gleams,
The soft Desire of all Dreams,
And smiles and bends like Juliet,
Year after year.
While to her side, all dewy wet,
A rose stuck in his ear,
Love climbs to draw her near.

II.

And in another way I know:
Down in my soul a graveyard lies,
Wherein I meet, in ghostly wise,
With many an ancient tale of woe
A graveyard of the Capulets,
Deep-vaulted with ancestral gloom,
Through whose dark yews the moonlight jets
On many a wildly caryen tomb,
That mossy mildew frets
A graveyard where the Soul's Desire
Sleeps, pale-entombed; and, kneeling by her,
Love, like that hapless Montague,
Year after year,
Weary and worn and wild of hue,
Within her sepulchre,
Falls bleeding on her bier.

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