John Lars Zwerenz
The Bower - Poem by John Lars Zwerenz
You fell asleep this morning,
Beneath the rarified glow of our castle’s tallest tower,
As the burgeoning dawn was dawning,
In the soft and tender cradle
Of the spacious, florid bower.
Your repose was sweet,
As if your mind was drenched with wine,
Poured from The Shepherd’s golden ladle.
You dreamt beside the white, wooden lattice
Where the sprawling vines meet,
Beside the stone wall, strewn with vine.
Your beauteous soul ascended twice:
Once to the massive, wavering oak trees;
And once, with rapture, over the crystal ice
Of the cozy, wintry pond,
Carried on the brisk, matin breeze.
And then for a third time,
Your spirit went beyond,
To the Cathedral’s dome
As its bells did chime,
In the cloudless, hesperidian sky.
You transcended the aesthetic heights
Of Greece in its golden age, of Imperial Rome,
Before the coming of Germanic knights.
And your precious lips of red did sigh
With a languorous, emotive, plaintive cry,
Of ecstasy and passion. And bye and bye,
You longed for my kiss and the caress of my hand.
Your hair lay like diamonds upon the marble divan,
And its scented tresses released a rapturous command,
Over every corner of the florid bower,
Over every bloom on the snowy, gilded lawn.
And as midday ascended, leaving behind the gold, celestial dawn,
The slender, blue brooks, with a sacred harmony
Burst through their icy borders,
And overflowed upon the drowsy reeds,
The dahlias and the corianders,
Rushing to the feathery meads
Which glistened like jewelry in the fantastic, pearl-white sun.
Then your sable gaze and the light became one,
As you awoke like an angel from your soft, sweet slumber.
You drank in the diamond stars of the hydra,
Of an innumerable number,
And every other blessed gift which the noonday umbra
Was pleased to bestow
To your lovely gaze,
Surrounded by the oaks and the oleanders,
Which glimmered in the cloister’s glittering glow.
And in the wistful, dusky gems of your waking haze,
More magnificent than each of the world’s Cassandras,
And filled with silvery-blue cascades,
You took my hand and bequeathed to me
In your state of beauteous, blinding bliss
A wonderful, warm, womanly kiss
As I raised you, embracing, from the marble divan.
The saffron reeds awoke, half-dreaming and wan,
Stretching their heads, indolently pale,
Releasing burgundies, port and ale.
We strolled slowly down the stone-paved trail,
In a soporific, languishing, alabaster mist,
At one with the velvet veil
Which is the essence of heaven, the crown of our tryst.
And in that Cupid’s halcyon, Cyprian breeze
We fell into another well,
Lost in our felicitous, romantic spell,
Of sanctified, sacred ecstasies.
And the cherubim sang,
As in the northern distance
A church bell rang,
Clad with soft, auriferous snow.
It chimed high and low,
To the glories of the mountains,
To the glistening, sunlit fountains,
To our reticent cloister, here below.
And we passed as a god and goddess
Beneath a towering colonnade,
As we walked to the bower’s rosy edge,
Upon the sunlit promenade,
To the heights of the florid ledge
Of the flowery cornice,
More beautiful than dreams,
Adorned with wines,
Cool to the taste, melting from the streams
Of mellifluous, floating, delicious ice
Descending over the cliff to the sea,
Beneath the massive, swaying pines,
Which rumble so majestically.
~ John Lars Zwerenz
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