Friday, October 30, 2009

"What love was ever as deep as a grave?"

Heart handfast in heart as they stood, "Look thither,''
Did he whisper? "look forth from the flowers to the sea;
For the foam-flowers endure when the rose-blossoms wither,
And men that love lightly may die -- but we?''
And the same wind sang and the same waves whitened,
And or ever the garden's last petals were shed,
In the lips that had whispered, the eyes that had lightened,
Love was dead.

Or they loved their life through, and then went whither?
And were one to the end -- but what end who knows?
Love deep as the sea as a rose must wither,
As the rose-red seaweed that mocks the rose.
Shall the dead take thought for the dead to love them?
What love was ever as deep as a grave?
They are loveless now as the grass above them
Or the wave.

From "A Forsaken Garden," by Algernon Charles Swinburne, 1878. Read the complete poem here.

Verstorbenes Liebespaar, Master of the Upper Rhine, 16th century

Blessed Samhain and Happy Halloween


chayaruchama said...

Where did you dredge up that old photo of us ?


BitterGrace said...

A lovely couple. The toad is just the right touch, don't you think?

Mary said...

They really are a charming couple. ;)

A blessed Samhain to you, sister of Hecate!