In Provence, to his Lady, Azalis de Mercoeur in Anjou
The gray dawn finds me thinking still
Of thee who hadst my thoughts all night;
Of thee, who art my lute's sweet skill,
And of my soul the only light;
My star of song to whom I turn
My face and for whose love I yearn.
Thou dost not know thy troubadour
Lies sick to death; no longer sings:
That this alone may work his cure
To feel thy white hand, weighed with rings,
Smoothed softly through his heavy hair,
Or resting with the old love there.
To feel thy warm cheek laid to his;
Thy bosom fluttering with love;
Then on his eyes and lips thy kiss
Thy kiss alone were all enough
To heal his heart, to cure his soul,
And make his mind and body whole.
The drought, these three months past, hath slain
All green things in this weary land,
As in my life thy high disdain
Hath killed ambition: yea, my hand
Forgets its cunning; and my heart,
Sick to stagnation, all its art.
Once to my castle there at Puy,
In honor of thy beauty, came
The Angevin nobility,
To hear me sing of thee, whose fame
Was high as Helen's. Azalis,
Hast thou forgot? Forget'st thou this?
And in the lists how often there
I broke a spear for thee? and placed
The crown of beauty on thy hair,
While thou sat'st, like the fair moon faced,
Amid the human firmament
Of faces that toward thee bent.
I take my hawk, my peregrine
No falconer or page beside
And ride from morn till eve begin;
I ride forgetting that I ride,
And all save this: that thou no more
Dost ride beside me as of yore.
A heron sweeps above me: I
Remember then how oft were cast
Thy hawk and mine at such: and sigh
Thinking of thee and days long past,
When through the Anjou fields and bowers
We used to hawk and hunt for hours.
And when, unhappy, I return,
And take my lute and seek again
The terrace where, beside some urn,
The castle gathers, while the stain
Of sunset crimsons all the sea,
And sing old songs once loved of thee:
The soul within me overflows
With longing; and I seem to hear
Thy voice through fountains and the rose
Calling afar, while, wildly near,
The rossignol makes mute my tongue
With memories of things long sung.
Here in Provence I pine for thee;
And there in Anjou dost forget!
All beauty here is less to me
Than is the ribbon lightly set
At thy white throat; or, on thy foot,
The shoe that I have loved to lute.
Thy foot, that I have loved to kiss;
To kiss and sing of! Song hath died
In me since then, my Azalis;
Since to my soul e'en that 's denied:
Thy kiss, that now alone could cure
The sick heart of thy Troubadour.