The Love that speaks in word and kiss,

A poem by Thomas Runciman

The Love that speaks in word and kiss,
That dyes the cheek and fires the eye,
Through surface signs of shallow bliss
That, quickly born, may quickly die;
Sweet, sweet are these to man and woman;
Who thinks them poor is less than human.

But I do know a quavering tone,
And I do know lack-lustre eyes,
Behind the which, dumb and alone,
A stronger Love his labour plies:
He cannot sing or dance or toy -
He works and sighs for other's joy.

In gloom he tends the growth of food,
While others joy in sun and flowers:
None knows the passion of his mood
Save they who know what bitter hours
Are his whose heart, alive to beauty,
Yet dies to it and lives for duty.

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