Richard Le Gallienne

(1866-1947 / England)

The Last Tryst - Poem by Richard Le Gallienne

The cowbells wander through the woods,
'Neath arching boughs a stream slips by,
In all the ferny solitude
A chipmunk and a butterfly
Are all that is--and you and I.

This summer day, with all its flowers,
With all its green and gold and blue,
Just for a little while is ours,
Just for a little--I and you:
Till the stars rise and bring the dew.

One perfect day to us is given;
Tomorrow--all the aching years;
This is our last short day in heaven,
The last of all our kisses nears--
Then life too arid even for tears.

Here, as the day ends, we two end,
Two that were one, we said, for ever;
We had Eternity to spend,
And laughed for joy to know that never
Two so divinely one could sever.

A year ago--how rich we seemed!
Like piles of gold our kisses lay,
Enough to last our lives we dreamed,
And lives to come, we used to say--
Yet are we at the last to-day.

The last, I say, yet scarce believe
What all my heart is black with knowing;
Doomed, I yet watch for some reprieve,
But know too well that love is going,
As sure as yonder stream is flowing.

Look round us how the hot sun burns
In plots of glory here and there,
Pouring its gold among the ferns:
So burned my lips upon your hair,
So rained our kisses, love, last year.

We saw not where a shadow loomed,
That, from its first auroral hour,
Our happy paradise fore-doomed;
A Fate within whose icy power
Love blooms as helpless as a flower.

Its shadow by the dial stands,
The golden moments shudder past,
Soon shall he smite apart our hands,
In vain we hold each other fast,
And the last kiss must come at last.

The last! then be it charged with fire,
With sacred passion wild and white,
With such a glory of desire,
We two shall vanish in its light,
And find each other in God's sight.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010



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