“Cease smiling, Dear! a little while be sad”
Dum nos fata sinunt, oculos satiemus Amore
Cease smiling, Dear! a little while be sad,
   Here in the silence, under the wan moon;
Sweet are thine eyes, but how can I be glad,
      Knowing they change so soon?
For Love’s sake, Dear, be silent! Cover me
   In the deep darkness of thy falling hair:
Fear is upon me and the memory
      Of what is all men’s share.
O could this moment be perpetuate!
   Must we grow old, and leaden-eyed and gray,
And taste no more the wild and passionate
      Love sorrows of to-day?
Grown old, and faded, Sweet! and past desire,
   Let memory die, lest there be too much ruth,
Remembering the old, extinguished fire
      Of our divine, lost youth.
O red pomegranate of thy perfect mouth!
   My lips’ life-fruitage, might I taste and die
Here in thy garden, where the scented south
      Wind chastens agony;
Reap death from thy live lips in one long kiss,
   And look my last into thine eyes and rest:
What sweets had life to me sweeter than this
      Swift dying on thy breast?
Or, if that may not be, for Love’s sake, Dear!
   Keep silence still, and dream that we shall lie,
Red mouth to mouth, entwined, and always hear
   The south wind’s melody,
Here in thy garden, through the sighing boughs,
   Beyond the reach of time and chance and change,
And bitter life and death, and broken vows,
      That sadden and estrange.

Webpage © 2002 ELC
Lane Core Jr. (lane@elcore.net)
Created November 13, 2002; not revised.