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Poem by Madison Julius Cawein

A Guinevere

    Sullen gold down all the sky,
     In the roses sultry musk;
     Nightingales hid in the dusk
    Yonder sob and sigh.

    You are here; and I could weep,
     Weep for joy and suffering.
     "Where is he?" He'd have me sing; -
    There he sits asleep.

    Think not of him! he is dead
     For the moment to us twain;
     He were dead but for this pain
    Drumming in my head.

    "Am I happy?" Ask the fire
     When it bursts its bounds and thrills
     Some mad hours as it wills
    If those hours tire.

    He had gold. As for the rest -
     Well you know how they were set,
     Saying that I must forget,
    And 'twas for the best.

    I forget! but let it go! -
     Kiss me as you did of old.
     There! your kisses are not cold!
    Can you love me so,

    Knowing what I am to him
     Sitting in his gouty chair
     On the breezy terrace where
    Amber fire-flies swim?

    "Yes?" - Your cheek a tear-drop wets,
     But your kisses on my lip
     Fall as warm as bees that sip
    Sweets from violets.

    See! the moon has risen white
     As this bursten lily here
     Rocking on the dusky mere
    Like a silent light.

    Let us walk. We soon must part -
     All too soon! but he may miss!
     Give me but another kiss;
    It will heat my heart

    And the bitter winter there.
     So; we part, my Launcelot,
     My true knight! and am I not
    Your true Guinevere?

    Oft they parted thus they tell
     In that mystical romance.
     Were they placed, think you, perchance,
    For such love in hell?

    No! it can not, can not be!
     Love is God and God is love,
     And they live and love above,
    Guinevere and he!

    I must go now. See! there fell,
     Molten into purple light,
     One wild star. Kiss me good-night;
    And, once more, farewell!

Madison Julius Cawein

Madison Julius Cawein's other poems:
  1. The Wood God
  2. Poe
  3. Dogtown
  4. Love's Calendar
  5. Fall

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