Love Sonnets


INTO the distance of your eyes I gaze,
Range upon range, and only see so far;
Into your night my passion leaps and plays
From star to star but not the final star.
Unknown we touch, as strangers we embrace,
Each looking for each other far and fond;
The nearer mystery lies face to face
Naked, but the remoter lies beyond.
O bless thee, bless thy lips along my lips!
Thy touch is joy, and joy no question asks;
Eyes climb and shine and touch, dear contact grips;
Nearly our masked selves meet behind their masks:
Shivering and trembling secrets dance in the night,
Nearly our intimate selves meet, but not quite.


LOVERS in love from separate countries sail
To meet in middle ocean of their bliss;
They touch and love and think they cannot fail,
Nearly they come together, as they kiss;
But they are doomed to meet and separate;
Singly they sail to love, and singly back,
Carrying sharp recognition of their fate —
Joy just begun and broken, love is lack.
So love begun: the wind blew them together;
The wind blew them apart, apart they are broken;
Only their voices on the wind still feather
Flight overhead, still tuning faintly spoken
Faith to each other; both would be one thing
And are not, but two voices one song sing.


Now when I move my arm, I touch thy arm;
Content and asleep thou liest at ease arranged
Along me asleep, eyes folded, body warm;
From hour gently to hour nothing is changed.
Nothing is altered in the night outside,
By our own joy; the little wind is gone,
The sirens have not sounded, and the tide
Comes in exactly as it would have done
Without us. What is altered then? We two.
Thou by my impulse heaving in thy heart,
I by the gift of thee I do not know,
But it is given, is mine, not held apart;
Ourselves we are formed, and each the other move
Who undergo the extreme pressure of love.


BETWEEN ourselves we met in a strange place
That singly neither of us knew before;
Between my down face and thy upward face
I went to meet thee; miles away and more
I saw thee coming; suddenly secretly
We met and emerged, both having much to give
Nor were we any longer thou and I;
Our separate selves died, as we came alive.
This moment was our lifetime, not to change;
Into our element we rose, adoring
Another mode of joy remote and strange,
And we were native there, living and soaring,
Moving and still; we were one thing at one
With our own selves complete in union.