Let Thy Loveliness Fade As It Will

Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms

by Thomas Moore (1478 – 1535)

Believe me, if all those endearing young charms,
Which I gaze on so fondly to-day,
Were to change by to-morrow, and fleet in my arms,
Live fairy-gifts fading away,
Thou wouldst still be adored, as this moment thou art,
Let thy loveliness fade as it will,
And around the dear ruin each wish of my heart
Would entwine itself verdantly still.

It is not while beauty and youth are thine own,
And thy cheeks unprofaned by a tear,
That the fervor and faith of a soul may be known,
To which time will but make thee more dear!
No, the heart that has truly loved never forgets,
But as truly loves on to the close,
As the sunflower turns on her god when he sets
The same look which she turned when he rose!

Thomas Moore and his wife were preceded in death by all five of their children.  His poetry and faith were tested to his core and imbue his poetry with that emotion.  While away in Bermuda attending to business for four years, his wife contracted small pox and though she survived, her face was disfigured.  When Moore returned his wife was reluctant to let him see her, concerned how he would react to her appearance and wanting him to remember her as she was before.  Moore sat down and penned the poem above to let her know that his love for her was unchanged. 

This is a poem that has been set to music for so long it is hard to separate  one from the other, the tune from the verse.  To all lovers, young and old alike, may your love last through the vagaries of life and may you see the beauty in each other, now and forever.   


Love Thee?

by Thomas Moore

Love thee?–so well, so tenderly
Thou’rt loved, adored by me,
Fame, fortune, wealth, and liberty,
Were worthless without thee.
Tho’ brimmed with blessings, pure and rare,
Life’s cup before me lay,
Unless thy love were mingled there,
I’d spurn the draft away.
Love thee?–so well, so tenderly,
Thou’rt loved, adored by me,
Fame, fortune, wealth, and liberty,
Are worthless without thee.

Without thy smile, the monarch’s lot
To me were dark and lone,
While, with it, even the humblest cot
Were brighter than his throne.
Those worlds for which the conqueror sighs
For me would have no charms;
My only world thy gentle eyes–
My throne thy circling arms!
Oh, yes, so well, so tenderly
Thou’rt loved, adored by me,
Whole realms of light and liberty
Were worthless without thee

Whatever We Are, Or Were

Paul Muldoon (1951 – )

Horse Latitudes (Excerpt)

by Paul Muldoon
 
Burma
 
Her grandfather’s job was to cut
the vocal cords of each pack mule
with a single, swift excision,
a helper standing by to wrench
the mule’s head fiercely to one side and drench
it with hooch he’d kept since Prohibition.
“Why,” Carlotta wondered, “that fearsome tool?
Was it for fear the mules might bray
and give their position away?”
At which I see him thumb the shade
as if he were once more testing a blade
and hear the two-fold snapping shut
of his four-fold, brass-edged carpenter’s rule:
“And give away their position.”
 


Holy Thursday

by Paul Muldoon (1951 – )

They’re kindly here, to let us linger so late,
Long after the shutters are up.
A waiter glides from the kitchen with a plate
Of stew, or some thick soup,

And settles himself at the next table but one.
We know, you and I, that it’s over,
That something or other has come between
Us, whatever we are, or were.

The waiter swabs his plate with bread
And drains what’s left of his wine,
Then rearranges, one by one,
The knife, the fork, the spoon, the napkin,
The table itself, the chair he’s simply borrowed,
And smiles, and bows to his own absence.

We Were All Unconcerned

Thomas Kinsella (b. 1928 –

Free Fall

by Thomas Kinsella

I was falling helpless in a shower of waste,
reaching my arms out toward the others
falling in disorder everywhere around me.

At the last instant,
approaching the surface,
the fall slowed suddenly,

and we were all
unconcerned,
regarding one another in approval.


The Force of Eloquence

by Thomas Kinsella

The brink of living is inhabited.

Unbrooding as an ox, he thrusts a bald
Muscular head out smiling.  Though his tongue
Chains are fastened, radii of gold.
Gently hauled by these, his swayed captives
Yield their wrists in  lithe angles of peace
– A charmed plight, halted in faint relief
Against a line of hills full of quaint promise.

A token of bronze, long out currency, 
Vivifies an impossible worn world,
Of speech constricted into other terms:
An equilibrium of gift and threat
Moulded in external breathless appearance.

Enter, and inhale the living bronze.