Young Love

A poem by Richard Le Gallienne

Young love, all rainbows in the lane,
Brushed by the honeysuckle vines,
Scattered the wild rose in a dream:
A sweeter thing his arm entwines.

Ah, redder lips than any rose!
Ah, sweeter breath than any bee
Sucks from the heart of any flower;
Ah, bosom like the Summer sea!

A fairy creature made of dew
And moonrise and the songs of birds,
And laughter like the running brook,
And little soft, heart-broken words.

Haunted as marble in the moon,
Her whiteness lies on young love's breast.
And living frankincense and myrrh
Her lips that on his lips are pressed.

Her eyes are lost within his eyes,
His eyes in hers are fathoms deep;
Death is not stiller than these twain
That smile as in a magic sleep.

I heard him say as they went by,
Two human flowers in the dew:
"Darling, ah, God, if you should die,
You know, that moment I die, too."

I heard her say: "I could not live
An hour without you"; heard her say:
"My life is in your hands to keep,
To keep, or just to throw away."

I heard him say: "For just us two
The world was made, the stars above
Move in their orbits, to this end:
That you and I should meet and love."

I heard her say: "And God himself
Has us in keeping, heart to heart;
In his great book our names are writ -
The Book of Those that Never Part."

"How strange it is!" I heard him say;
"How strange!" and yet again, "How strange!
To meet at last, and know this love
Of ours can never fade or change."

"How strange to think that you are mine,
Each little hair of your dear head,
And no one else's in the world -
How strange it is!" the woman said.

I stand aside to let them pass,
My Autumn face they never see;
Their eyes are on the rising sun,
But 'tis the setting sun for me.

For me no wild rose in the lane,
But only sad autumnal flowers,
And falling shadows and old sighs,
And melancholy drift of hours!

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