‘Oh! Dalsarion, are you so sure?
We know of one another’s voice, true,
but to love? How can you proclaim it?’
‘I maybe young,’ I said, ‘even by my manly terms,
but I know when my heart speaks by me.
And now it tells me, you!’
‘You find me fair and easy of face, perhaps,
and I–if I’m true—you.
Yet are you, by impulse and troubles led?
To call down mighty Love’s most thunderous
and dramatic storm,
for want of a little shade?’
‘I can by my ernest, and open-hearted beating
prove it! You cannot condemn a song! —Of all
lost lover’s lament and joyous reunion,
drawn from the very deepest of parts,
down from all those pieces in me,
most worthy of any claim.’
‘A song, that sums you, from part and body,
to most delicate movement and notation?
This is noble, but faced on inept bearings and, I think
not so wishful a use of your most grateful talent.’
My face cracks from its mask! —To give it smile.
Does she think I cannot? Do not feel it?
To give it a voice and powerful articulation,
sing my song of love?
‘But I will! And go and pen my love’s ancient leaning,
you cannot then dismiss it.’
‘Dalsarion your mind is so true. I envy you.
Aye, I will hear this song.
As composed, I will let your expression wash over me.
I, though, will question this devotion.
For while you may gladly answer this catching call,
I may not trust and abandon to your love
to then wrack-on mine.’
‘Then so.’ I took her challenge.
We were to meet in lover’s secret net,
in-which—I hoped—we would both gasp and strike
ourselves as do fish, from depth to airy-nothing—no.
I must be better than that!
For three days from this; to our agreed tryst,
I worked and fretted upon my lute.
Ill-composed, and tried again.
And in the night of my uncertain dark, we came together.
Then from low to high I sung
to her above my head, leaning
on her balcony and looked down.
With hymn, and the sight of her beauty in my eyes,
fingers-plucking my strings, accompanied,
I raised my voice:
I cannot tell you the day, as she blinds my eyes,
I cannot see at all but I say truthfully:
You may tell the weather in her.
The storms in the time of day.
We nod to the beat of her steps
slip to the land of dreaming the day.
There you’ll find the Sun and you’ll catch the sky
clinging all, to her neck-line.
Gloriously captured! Enraptured
and blushed by my burning sight
…’ and I could not finish it, and she knew why.
We let the music die between us, and I
saw above the glittering-dark of her eyes,
still in shadow, saw her face.
And she said,
‘You say you can see the day in me?
And would, in place of this rapture so,
like constant morning’s dawn,
this delicate balance of awe
soon leave you cold and unmoved?
Thinking, there is also tomorrow, tomorrow…
Instead, to through routine,
you slept your mornings late?
‘And let me speak not
of this pride’s inconstant Moon!’
She makes her sound,
that trilling of humour.
‘Well!’ I said, ‘I never thought of that.
Should I go then and, with sly, write us new lyrics?’
‘Oh, Dalsarion! I said, not so easy, would it be.
I pose to challenge you,
to break you or to wean your love through my adversity.
It is sweet and favours me greatly
with its—with your–beauty. True.
So true, I find myself swaying to your cause.
Ah! But alas, I choose still to make
our heads work-to-move with our hearts.’
And from this point, neither did we speak of much,
nor even of our hearts.
But stared to encroaching dawn,
and there under hurried-dew,
made for future plans of minstrel and court.
* * * * *
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