Arthur Henry Adams

6 December 1872 – 4 March 1936 / Lawrence / New Zealand

Love Motives

To You.
SO you have come at last!
And we nestle, each in each,
As leans the pliant sea in the clean-curved limbs of her lover the beach;
Merged in each other quite,
Clinging, as in the tresses of trees dallies the troubadour night;
Faint as a perfume, soft as wine,
Yielding as moonlight—mine, all mine—
So I have found you at last!
I dreamed; we dare not meet:
The time is yet too soon;
Swept with the tumult of perfect love, our souls from this life would swoon—
For the fusion of our lives
Is the sole great goal to which the vast creation vaguely drives;
And only when I kiss your face
Shall the last great trumpet shatter Space—
I dreamed; we dare not meet!
Yet somewhere, hungry-eyed,
You lie and listen with tears,
Clogged with the flesh, and dulled with the sodden heritage of the years.
And I am alien, lone,

Hedged with the palisades of self, shut in—a soul unknown.
You, fashioned for me from Time's first day,
I, moulded for you ere that dawn was grey,
Wait hidden, hungry-eyed!
I lie in the lonely night;
And you?—perhaps so near
That if I should whisper your sweet soul-name you would joyously leap and hear!
And yet perhaps so far,
Drowned in the cosmic mist beyond the swirl of the farthest star;
But over the universe yawning between,
With wistful eyes you listen and lean,
Alone in the lonely night!
Perhaps your thirsty arms
Some stranger youth entwine,
And you will yield him thin, faint kisses, thinking his lips are mine;
He thinking that unawares
He has caught, as once in a dream he caught, that miracle-glance of hers.
The pathos of the thing that seems!
Each clasping memories, kissing dreams.
In passionate-thirsty arms!

So you will yearn through life,
Or maybe you did not wait:
You married him, and his neutral smile you learnt to sullenly hate;
Or you have lived a lie,
And drank the mockery of his lips, believing that he was I.
You dreamed, content that you loved him true,
But the soul of your soul was dead to you—
So I must yearn through life!
Or, starving and passionate still,
To your dreams you were bravely true;
You told the Night your secrets drear, and he laughed back at you;
And even when you dreamed
You heard his merciless laughter ring, and you sprang awake and screamed;
Till Age kissed you with a kiss that sears,
And you faded and withered with the years,
Starving and passionate still!
But, hush! I had almost heard:
Last night I dreamed your name;
Like the soft, white tread of a faint, cool cloud to my desolate sky it came;
Like a moth it drifted away,

And into the flame of the dawn it fluttered, dying into the day.
Yet the wind in the whispering leaves
The moan of your sobbing weaves—
Hush! I had almost heard.
Yet I should know your face!
As mine, all mine, I claim
That coil of hair that over your bosom smoulders— a yellow flame;
And the cool, dim-curtained eyes,
The crescent of your imperious chin, and the little moist mouth that cries.
I have heard through the din of the years
Your voice, with its tincture of tears—
Yes, I remember your face!
Once in the drifting crowd
I thought I had found a clue—
A pale face pealed like an organ-note, and yet— oh! my heart—not you!
She had your look, the same
Ineffable sorrow of glad young eyes; but all the rest was shame.
Perhaps she saw—for her eyes were wet—
In me the soul she had one time met
In eternity's drifting crowd!

Perhaps 't is the desert of years
That severs each from each,
And out of the cavernous centuries to each other we blindly reach.
You blossomed so long ago
That only the Dawn and the Spring remember, and little, so little, they know!
You wait on the hill of the first white morn,
Straining dead eyes to me, unborn,
Across the desert of years.
Or when I am dead at last,
And my sovereignty have won,
As merged in the dust of the gradual Past, unliving, I live on,
You will rise with some far-off Spring,
And back to the drear, dead days that were mine your piteous glance will fling.
But, hush! I shall come in the rain-kissed night
And whisper the words of our marriage-rite—
So I shall find you at last!
Yet if we met.…
I dreamed; we dare not meet.
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