arcana imperii :: the book of j


two love poems

what is love?

love is the passion which endureth,
which neither time nor absence cureth;
which nought of earthly change can sever:
love is the light which shines for ever.

what cold and selfish breasts deem madness
lives in its depths of joy and sadness;
in hearts, on lips, of flame it burneth —
one is its world, to one it turneth.

its chain of gold — what hand can break it?
its deathless hold — what force can shake it?
mere passion aught of earth may sever,
but souls that love, love on for ever.
~mary anne lamb

funeral blues

stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
silence the pianos and with muffled drum
bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
scribbling on the sky the message he is dead,
put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

he was my north, my south, my east and west,
my working week and my sunday rest,
my noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
i thought that love would last for ever; i was wrong.

the stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood,
for nothing now can ever come to any good.
~w h auden