Alfred Austin

(30 May 1835 – 2 June 1913 / Headingley)

If You Were Mine, If You Were Mine, - Poem by Alfred Austin

`If you were mine, if you were mine,
The day would dawn, the stars would shine,
The sun would set, the moon arise,
In holier and yet heavenlier skies.
Then unto me the Year would bring
A younger April, fresher Spring.
I should not then seek sylvan ways
For primrose clusters, woodbine sprays,
To hear the mavis' matin tale,
Or nocturn of the nightingale.
For at your coming there would pass
A glow, a glory, o'er the grass,
The flowers would in your gaze rejoice,
The wildwood carol in your voice,
Returning gleam chase lingering gloom,
And life be never out of bloom,
If you were mine!

`If you were mine, I should not know
In what fair month the roses blow,
When the pure lily bares her brow,
Or ringdoves coo their nuptial vow.
For, with your hand soft-clasped in mine,
I still should smell the eglantine,
And, wheresoe'er our steps should stray,
The incense of the new-mown hay.
By restless wave or restful mere,
In wanderings far or wanderings near,
On cheerful down, in pensive glen,
It would be always Summer then,
If you were mine.

`If you were mine, I should not fear
The warnings of the waning year,
The garnering sickle, girdled sheaf,
The falling acorn, floating leaf,
Moisture of eve and haze of morn,
Pearls turned to rubies on the thorn,
The silvering tress on fading brow,
The dimples that are furrows now.
For, leaving summits once I clomb,
With you, would seem but wending home.
Leaning on love in life's decline,
More sweet the shadow than the shine,
The cushat's perch than swallow's wing,
And Autumn peace than pomp of Spring,
If you were mine.

`If you were mine, how then should I
Heed frozen fallow, churlish sky,
Bleak, songless branches, sapless rind,
The wailing of the homeless wind,
The dwindling days, the deepening snow,
The dull, dead weight of wintry woe?
For, harkening to the Christmas peal
Without, our hearts within would feel,
In glowing rafter, flickering blaze,
The sunshine of departed days,
And round the hearth dear memories swarm
To keep life young, to keep love warm,
If you were mine.'

`Yet you are mine, yes, you are mine.
No length of land, no breadth of brine,
Can keep whom spirit links, apart,
Or make an exile of the heart.
And when from soul, no more the thrall
Of sense, the fleshly fetters fall,
And, purified by combats past,
Long-martyred love is crowned at last,
You then before the Heavenly Throne
Will take my hand, nor blush to own,
That you were mine!'

When June is wreathed with wilding rose
When June is wreathed with wilding rose,
And all the buds are blown,
And O, 'tis joy to dream and doze
In meadows newly mown,
Go take her where the graylings leap,
And where the dabchick dives,
Or where the bees from clover reap
The harvest for their hives;
For Summer is the season when,
If you but know the way,
A maid that's kissed will kiss again,
And pelt you with the hay,
The hay,
And pelt you with the hay.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010



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