poet Henry Cuyler Bunner

Henry Cuyler Bunner

An Old-Fashioned Love Song

Tell me what within her eyes
Makes the forgotten Spring arise,
And all the day, if kind she looks,
Flow to a tune like tinkling brooks;
Tell me why, if but her voice
Falls on men’s ears, their souls rejoice;
Tell me why, if only she
Doth come into the companie
All spirits straight enkindled are,
As if a moon lit up a star.


Tell me this that’s writ above,
And I will tell you why I love.


Tell me why the foolish wind
Is to her tresses ever kind,
And ouly blows them in such wise
As lends her beauty some surprise;
Tell me why no changing year
Can change from Spring, if she appear;
Tell me why to see her face
Begets in all folk else a grace
That makes them fair, as love of her
Did to a gentler nature stir.

Tell me why, if she but go
Alone across the fields of snow,
All fancies of the Springs of old
Within a lover’s breast grow bold;
Tell me why, when her he sees,
Within him stirs an April breeze;
And all that in his secret heart
Most sacredly was set apart,
And most was hidden, then awakes,
At the sweet joy her coming makes.


Tell me what is writ above,
And I will tell you why I love.

Poem Submitted: Saturday, September 4, 2010

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