Cease smiling, Dear! a little while be sad,
Here in the silence, under the wan moon.
Sweet are thine eyes, but how can I be glad,
Knowing they change so soon?
O could this moment be perpetuate!
Must we grow old, and leaden-eyed and gray
And taste no more the wild and passionate
Love sorrows of to-day?
O red pomegranate of thy perfect mouth!
My lips' life-fruitage might I taste and die,
Here to thy garden, where the scented south Wind chastens agony;
Reap death from thy live lips in one long kiss,
And look my last into thine eyes and rest:
What sweets had life to me sweeter than this Swift dying on thy breast?
Or, if that may not be, for Love's sake, Dear!
Keep silence still, and dream that we shall lie,
Red mouth to mouth, entwined, and always hear
The south wind's melody,
Here in thy garden, through the sighing boughs,
Beyond the reach of time and chance and change,
And bitter life and death, and broken vows,
That sadden and estrange.
ERNEST DOWSON (1867-1900)
Could do without the pomegranate bit, though.