The Lover to His Beloved: On Our Insufficiency
The years pile up like snow drifts
Burying the sounds of misery
Deep within the heart of me–
Unhealed, the lesion of our rift.
What more can be said of life thus lived
Cloven-hearted? Meaningless means,
Hateful rays of heatless sunbeams,
Shine not into the depths I would dive
If I but dared; or if I still cared
My soul to lose on terms unfav’rable.
The truth is that I am not able
This burden of loveless love to bear.
Thoughts of you now, what you may be,
Frighten and disgust me; how could
You turn from the Life-giving Rood
With such stunning, easy alacrity?
Was it a joke, or just a game
You played with the idea of sorrow–
Knowing, if it came too near, tomorrow
You could simply withdraw the name
Once spoken? Was it but token
Love, vast but insubstantial,
Passionate, diseased, and ephemeral,
And above all, like both of us, broken?
Horror and madness walk enflesh’d
As you with hands entwined with sin
(And I, raging against the same, within)
Weave webs of woe which enmesh
Us both; dear heart, I am loath
To leave it thus, but I cannot
Go thither, to that dark grot
Where you with lies have plighted troth,
Where only baleful shadow remains.
Restless, finding rest only in Thee,
Are our hearts. O Lord, this let us see
Before the Shadow in us reigns.