Wilfrid Scawen Blunt

1840 - 1922 / England

A Love Secret

Love has its secrets, joy has its revealings.
How shall I speak of that which love has hid?
If my beloved shall return to greet me,
Deeds shall be done for her none ever did.

My beloved loved me. How shall I reveal it?
We were alone that morning in the street.
She looked down at the ground, and blushed, and trembled.
She stopped me with her eyes when these did meet.

''What wouldst thou, sweet one? What wouldst thou with sorrow,
Thou, the new morning star with me, the night?
What are those flowers thou holdest to thy bosom?
What are the thoughts thou hidest from my sight?''

''Thine are these flowers,'' she said, ''these foolish roses,
And thine the thoughts, if thus it be thy will.
I hold them close for fear that thou shouldst mock me,
I hold them to my heart for fear of ill.''

''Nay, what of ill? 'Tis only age is evil,
Only forgetfulness and grief and pain;
What dost thou know of grief, that thou shouldst fear it?
Mine is the grief who cannot love again.''

She raised her eyes, she looked at me in wonder,
''The ache is here,'' she said, ''by night and day;
I cannot teach my heart to bear its burden,
I cannot turn my silence from its way.''

''Speak to me, child. I am thy wise physician,
A man acquainted with all grief can teach;
There is no sorrow but has joy for sister,
No silence but finds counterpart in speech.''

My beloved laughed. She saw through my dissembling;
She held to me her hand, that I might kiss,
The inside of her hand. 'Twas like a petal
Of her own roses, but more dear than this.

I felt its pulses, like a bird in prison;
''Sweet child,'' I said, ''what wouldst thou I should prove?
I cannot make thee wiser than thy wisdom,
Who knowest all things since thou knowest love.''

How shall I tell it? How shall I reveal it?
I led her by the hand, as thus I said,
Back from the street to where it stood, my dwelling,
And closed the door on where it stood, my bed.

Her laughter stopped. ''Nay, use not thou unkindly.
Thine is the hand to deal or spare the blame;
I dare not be to thee thus uninvited,
Thou dost not know me, hast not learned my name.''

How shall I tell it? How shall I reveal it?
Love in that instant found its latest birth,
''Soul of my soul,'' I cried, ''thy name is Pleasure,
The sweetest thing to love on this sad Earth.''

I held her in my arms, I pressed her fastly.
''Ah, if thou lovedst me indeed,'' she cried.
''I love thee, and I love thee,'' was my answer,
''My sister, my beloved one, my bride!''

Love has its secrets. Joy has its revealings.
I speak of this which love in vain has hid;
If my beloved shall return to greet me,
Deeds shall be done for her none ever did.
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