Merely Sorrowing - Poem by Albert Oxford
That was merely half the talked, when we went forth in threes
The moon so full, your love so rich
And our joy all in all with these.
Low as the wind and pale the stars that wandered through our sky
Our hope was round like a candle flame
And a flame glowed bright in your eye.
That was merely a taste of love and we sensed it augured feast
and we both slipped fast into thralldom's net
Nor chose to be released.
But that was just the first of steps and all went down and down
We both were robbed for both were thieves
Free in a doorless town.
But that was merely a glance at theft, a hint of what would pass
My image with your image moved
Both locked in a cell like glass.
But that was a mirror that gave not back, nor beam nor glimpse to tell
The tale of the price at which we bought
Or the honour that we should sell.
These were merely the crumbs and husks that fell from our table's lip
and I kissed your mouth and you kissed my mouth
How bitter did we sip.
Though that was merely the thought of the deed, with the deed itself not done
And you ran to me and I ran to you
For where else could we run
For where would haven for us be found, free of our miseries
Yet we knew it need not be like this
If we'd not gone forth in threes.
Thus I watched you search with vain appeal in dismal woods to find me
With your face all care and time too short
And your hair too short to bind me
But this was merely my anguished heart that woke from a too brief rest
And I was troubled that you did not know
Sad that you had not guessed
That the gathering together was over at last and the solace we hoped to know
Was lost in the sundering now at hand
Though I swear that I loved you so.
But that was merely the whim of a whim for I turned and walked away
Fell victim to my own unease
Was my own too yielding prey.
But I learned from truth and I learned from lies, yes,
I learned from both of these
That if I should venture forth again
I should not go in threes.
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