Easter Bridal

Easter Bridal

Since there is no return ,
Only in love new courage may be taken :
Love , of himself scarce sure ,
Ardently insecure ,
Longing , but half afraid , his power to learn ,
Puts on eternity in golden token .
With candle , bell and book :
All else is now forsaken ;
There is no turning back .

Take courage , then , in love :
Only in love can life be worth the living ;
Love for that lover’s sake
Who all for love did make ,
Who leaving his own cherished home above ,
Put on mortality , and greatly loving .
With heart too rudely torn ,
Spent all his strength in giving
Where there was no return .

There is no turning back :
Only in love shall love by love defend thee :
Possessing thee, yet thine ,
Half human half divine ,
Giving unasked all love thy love doth lack ,
Shall put on immortality to find thee ,
Shall rise , death slain , and live ,
Life without end to lend thee :
Take courage , then , in love .

9 April 1953

Explication on the BIRTHDAY of One dear to R. C. de L.B.

of One dear to
R. C. de L.B.

I’m a very young bear
And my income is small ,
Though my prospects are fair
I’m a very young bear :
Had I worlds to my share
I would give you them all —
I’m a very young bear
And my income is small .

So I make bold to say ,
“Happy Birthday , dear Jean !”
It’s your birthday today ,
So I make bold to say
“Take this sweet-heart , be gay. ”
Of sweet hearts you’re the queen ,
So I make bold to say
“Happy Birthday , dear Jean !”

Given under my paw this
eleventh day of June Anº Dº
nineteen hundred and fifty two
Yours truly

R. C. de L. B.
[Richard Coeur de Lion Bear, gent .]

On the reverse near the seal To the white hands of the Lion heart’s dear lady , This and the love of a King’s son Richard .

[at top , in a heart ,
xi . vi



Echo , who may question you ?
You .
Some speak love but are untrue —
True .
Echo , does my lady so ?
So .
Does she love me , do you know ?
No .
Is that swain more blest than I ?
Aye .
Echo, silence , or I die !
Die .

A folded sheet with four poems. Dated on this first side 21st Oct. 1951.


first of four pages


1 Here on this narrow bed
   I lie confined ,
  Cursing my injured head ,
  Bandaged and blind .
5 Voices come , voices go ,
    Cheerful and kind :
  ‘Lucky to save your life ! ’
   Lucky ? Accursed , I know

  Fury of mind ;

10 Strong body torn and smashed
  When my two-seater crashed
  What of my wife ?
‘Safe and well,’ they told me , lying,
‘Together soon ,’ they said :
15 Soon , yes : for I am dying
And she is dead .

Come words , ring and rhyme ,
Guard my soul in this assault ,
She has fallen prey to time ,
20 By my fault , by my fault :
Though I never more again ,
Foot it featly as you will ,
Death is sure and grief is vain ,
Sweet my words, come dancing still .

25 She was young and debonair
( Weep , shepherds at her death )
Slender , innocent and fair ,
With tender-taken breath :
Rally , poets , at my call ,
30 Forgive me what I borrow ;
I honoured her above you all
And have not long for sorrow ;
Help me deplore her timeless fall second page
For I must die tomorrow .

35 Now walk the angels on the walls of heaven :
And do they so ? And is there endless rest ,
No wave , no tide in that eternal haven
Where Treasure lies secure from moth and rust ?
So she believed when she went out to find
40 That land beyond the marches of her mind ,
The country she held dear ,
And left me here .

Come , words , clutch and cling ,
Drug my soul against despair
45 Come , poets , dance and sing ,
Banish grief and killing care :
Orpheus with his lute made trees ,
Half-regained his other soul ,
Could have kept her safe with ease ,
50 Had he practised self-control .
Of Muses I con no such skill
And minor is my proper key ,
Yet could I fetch my wife at will
She should not escape from me .

55 Orpheus had one consolation
For the evils that he braved ,
His wife , without much hesitation ,
Consented to be saved :
Mine thought I needed all the saving ,
60 Regretted mortal birth ,
And insisted on behaving
As an exile upon earth .
She would argue , she would plead ,
Elbow me towards the light ,
65 Now perhaps she knows indeed
Which of us was in the right .

Come, words , be my shield ,
Lest I falter , lest I bow :
Free and strong I would not yield third page
70 How should I surrender now ?
I was in love with life , and life was love ,
Love was the world , and all the world was she :
But when I said as much , she grieved for me :
The mighty dance of all that live and move
75 Controlling fortune , abrogating chance ,
The intricate , the unavoided dance
Was all she longed to know :
She told me so .
Well she has gone to join it , freed by me
80 Unwittingly and most unwillingly :
With no hope of heavenly treasure ,
Future mirth ,
I detained her for my pleasure
Here on earth .
85 She loved me , and possessively
But would not put me first :
And now we die successively ,
She blessed , I accursed .

Come , words, spin and weave ,
90 Clothe in silken phrase my rage :
I love this world she longed to leave
And lie here impotent as age :
She dances in the dance that stirs
Heaven and earth and sea and sky .
95 What she long desired is hers ;
The exile now am I .

Dated on the back of the booklet, actually on the back of the notes, 29 September 1951

fourth page

This is written out in a little note-book’s pages , six and a quarter inches by three and three quarters. The 96 lines end half-way down a page and the rest of that one is blank. On the facing page (which is the back of the opening page of ll.1-18)
she wrote me guiding notes:

N.B. — for your note only.
References ll.26 & 51 : Spenserian
28. Keats .
33 & 35 Marlowe & Marlovian
36 Vaughan
40 Marches here = borderland
46, 47 Shakespeare . Henry VIII song.
48 ¨Half regained Milton
74-76 et seq. Eliz. notion . —
possibly you do know all this , but you must , to catch the undertones — to give it a fair chance , m’dear.
Let the rhythm take you with it , or you’ll stumble .
No brief held .
I deplore this paper .
This page may be detached for easy reference — and in any case .

I can’t dispose of the page, because the first 18 lines of the poem are on the other side of it.

In spite of the above heading I will share these notes with whoever is reading Exile . They illustrate the bridge between her skill and inspiration, both before and after this period, and myself as the one person with whom she deposited it all. The deposit was part of the love between us; but also I was as ignorant as the general reader, not only younger than Marion but primarily an historian. So I was useful — she needed to communicate with general readers. And my value as an example was continually pressed upon her because I was and am by nature persistent in questioning meaning and motive behind what I read or am told. With Exile she was showing me what sort of equipment I must develop to do that task effectively in her field, as well as in my own.


(eight pages here)

Lost Eldorado, bright with wealth untold,
City remote in fabled realms of gold,
I sing: ye nine, my halting verse inspire;
Descend, and sweep with harmony my lyre ;
Great Alexander! worlds before thee bow,
The golden kingdom be thy conquest now :
Thy laws are mine, I govern in thy name —
Be thou my master, and be thine my fame!
How first the shining legend travelled wide
To fire the dreams of Avarice and Pride ;
What sturdy seamen brav’d the western main,
Mocking the gorgeous tyranny of Spain ;
How boldly they explor’d the secret west ;
Their hope how brilliant, and how vain their quest ;
The fall of heroes, the revenge of kings,
Clio remembers, and Euterpe sings .
Noble that theme, but by our fervent young
Too well remember’d and too often sung .
Not mine refulgent marvels to rehearse ,
Loading with ore each chasm of my verse ;
To dandle puppets on my languid stage ,
Trick’d in the raiment of a bygone age ;
To rouse the brave with martial pomp and blare ,
Or melt with dreamy lays the gentle fair ;
Dead is the past , and low with garlands laid ;
Let not my gaudy dreams disturb its shade .
Romance and chivalry may hackney’d rest ;
Venus I tolerate , but Mars detest .
Attend me then , ye hasty lookers on ,
Who judge the play before the play is done ,
Who term the present a confounded bore ,
Despise the future , and the past deplore —
You I deplore : my art shall mirror you :
Reflect, and witness the reflection true !
And ye , whose hearts and treasure lie not here ,
Who fear to hope , yet hope to conquer fear :
Let not the greed of gold your peace confound ,
Great is your faith , and greatly shall be crowned : second page
Beyond all dreams , beyond terrestrial price ,
Your golden city waits in Paradise .
Yours is the victory, would men but heed ;
Rich beyond gold , no gilded myth you need :
Your shining gospel every hope transcends ,
All prophecy fulfils , all panic ends .
Yet few have faith and courage to despise
The pride of life , the lust of flesh and eyes :
This world too great a sacrifice men deem ;
Then, discontent , of Eldorado dream .
With maps and engines they have conquered space ;
Faster than sound their winged chariots race ;
Land, sea , and sky triumphant they control ,
Circle the globe , and speed from pole to pole :
As eagles soar, with massive wings outspread ,
O’ertop mount Everest’s unvanquish’d head ,
Divide the clouds , usurp the winds’ domain ,
Till , tired with flight , they glide to earth again .
Mountain and jungle their wheel’d progress know ,
Plains white to harvest , wastes of sand and snow :
Neptune himself admits their conquering sway ;
Proud through his courts they force resistless way ,
Explore the nodding forests far below ,
Where great-ey’d fish sedately come and go :
Strange through the tumbling water they behold
Dim grottos roof’d with pearl and pav’d with gold :
Nameless the myriad flowers that greet their view ;
Aw’d they admire , and swift their way pursue ;
Sweep through the coral groves , then gladly rise
To seek once more the blessing of the skies .
Land , sea , and sky unnumber’d marvels yield ,
But Eldorado never yet reveal’d :
Outgrown the hope , the legend long outworn ,
The poet’s standby and the critic’s scorn ;
Yet still the wistful dreams of men prevail
To gloss with gold that half-forgotten tale .
Science ! what hopes are grappled to thy name ,
What promis’d miracles augment they fame :
Worshipped and damned by complementary schools ,
The foolish zealots and the zealous fools : third page
Enlightened and benevolent thy reign ;
Candid the hearts and garments of thy train :
Their square-tipped hands disease and death control ,
But lack the formulae to frame a soul .
Small loss : the soul is but a toy of thought ,
Intangible , unseen , a thing of nought :
Who thee alone with solemn zest desires ,
No soul acknowledges , no soul requires .
If thou assist , what can our might withstand ?
Plenty and peace shall crown the smiling land :
Find Eldorado in a Welfare State .
Awake , arise , thou prophylactic Power !
Thy marshall’d armies wait th’appointed hour ,
Perfect their discipline , matur’d their plan —
Why dost thou hesitate to lead the van ?
See , where thy chiefs with standards proud display’d
Invoke thy blessing , and entreat thine aid :
They wax impatient of disease and dearth —
Be pleas’d to rehabilitate the earth !
Not long shall Mars uneasy vigil keep ,
For strife too weary , but too fierce for sleep ;
Sword , gleaming helm and shield his rising wait ,
The chariot stands impetuous at his gate —
Prevent his rage , that turbulence may cease ;
Induce thy golden age of order’d peace !
As sudden thunder rends the startl’d skies ,
A dreadful voice imperious replies :
“Too rashly am I hail’d by humankind ,
My title cribb’d , my realm by use confin’d :
All knowledge mine , and sempiternal youth —
Vicegerent and ambassador of Truth .
Were yet my ageless wisdom yours indeed ,
Your march I might attend , but never lead :
As fire , unique assistance I afford ,
A careful servant , but a deadly lord .
Ye fools , beware ! lest plung’d in senseless strife ,
You perish by the force that ruled your life :
Reason is mine : if you from Reason swerve ,
Destruction is no more than you deserve :
My votaries shall toll your passing bell ; fourth page
Your blood be on your heads : and so , farewell !”
While yet with gloomy voice o’er hill and dell
Astonish’d echo comments : “ … well, well , well …”
The grave Philosopher his hand extends ,
Surveys the multitude, and thus perpends :
“Man miserable ! By reckless pride betray’d ,
Whom wilt thou trust , and whither turn for aid ?
Yet even now , erect where Moses stood ,
I will advise thee for thy proper good :
Ere long to me that selfsame grace be lent
The promis’d land to view , and die content .
If radiant prospects lure thy fancy, stand
At noon exultant on the golden strand :
Phoebus with glory gilds the trembling wave ,
And liquid gold laps bright in creek and cave :
Enraptur’d to the far horizon gaze ,
Where strange isles glimmer through a golden haze :
There hill and vale with shining groves are dress’d ;
There roll fair plains with orient harvest blest :
There fresh streams sparkle clear through marsh and fen ,
And distant spires proclaim the haunts of men :
Most surely there , beneath the smiling skies ,
Fair as a dream thy Eldorado lies —
Couldst thou but follow , as thou dost admire
The glitt’rng pathway to thy heart’s desire !
Fond wish! a dismal mist the sea enshrouds ,
And stricken Phoebus mourns in sable clouds :
How drab a prospect now canst thou command —
Malignant isles , cold sea and common sand !
Cruel and sudden , where the surges sway
The lynx-ey’d gulls swoop screaming on their prey.
“Cruelle and sodaine” — thou whose ready ear
Ascribes the debt, and joys that phrase to hear ,
Observe those ragged boys that past thee run :
The flea they gladly lodge , but know not Donne .
Phoebus ! Thy light advance , that they may see
Their rightful heritage , august and free :
By Fame neglected and accurs’d by Fate ,
What power can raise them to that happy state ?
’Tis Education ! Blessèd power indeed — fifth page
Here passion chokes his utterance : I proceed .
Hail Education , omniformal maid !
For thee our wealth , to thee our tribute paid .
Descend , rever’d abstraction , at our call ,
Teach , elevate , inspire , illumine all !
Where frugal Nature no great wit bestows ,
Tend that , as horticulturalist his rose :
Where niggard Fortune small advantage lends ,
Grant wisdom , culture , honour, wealth and friends !
At thy rebuke all evils shrink and flee ;
Our hopeful statesmen prophesy by thee :
“Progress!” and “Immortality !” they cry —
“Regress !” “Mortality !” the hills reply .
Thy awful name gleams bright with constant use :
Our talisman , our shield , and our excuse !
What need we further witness to thy power ?
Yet deign to visit thine adopted bower :
Near Blackwell’s shrine, and Bodley’s honour’d fane
Behold the choicest products of thy reign !
In thy fair livery strut these longhair’d boys —
Gowns proudly tatter’d , dashing corduroys —
Agog for gossip and the wild carouse ,
They congregate in every coffee-house :
Be present , while they offer and admire
Sagacious schemes to set the world afire ;
Withdraw , ere yet their hope grows passing wild ,
To watch the fortune of thy favourite child .
The poet , who complain’d the winter long ,
While cajol’d hearers marvell’d at his song ,
Impatient of his own romantic gloom ,
Now quits with eager step his shady room ,
By limpid Isis pleasantly to stray ,
Where rising flowers the verdant turf array :
Mark how the polish’d swans majestic glide ,
And drooping willows kiss the chequer’d tide :
Serene the angler waits his dancing float :
Slow ripples gently sway the chainèd boat :
Pure is the fragrance wafted from the meads,
When vernal gusts caress the rustling reeds :
Joyous the bard , as trembling he renews sixth page
His fervent vows to Venus and the Muse :
Homeward he hastes , to all creation blind ,
While nice considerations vex his mind :
Each poet in his own degree is blest ,
Those most the Muse affects , who serve her best ,
Reward enow in loyal service lies —
’Tis then dishonour to compete for prize,
Most servile to uplift a charter’d voice,
And hymn the topic of another’s choice .
Yet empty pockets sad assurance give
That he who lives to sing must sing to live ;
While passing years confirm the ancient rune ,
That he who pays the piper, calls the tune .
That sage reflection every scruple ends :
To Eldorado swift his soul he bends —
Little enough , alas , he knows of gold ;
That little in short compass may be told :
Yet rich his fancy , and his memory long ,
With hired magnificence to deck his song :
His thoughts old strength and modern wit affect :
His diction pure , harmonious , correct —
Thus he himself opines , as he reviews
His past effusions prompted by the Muse :
Such beauties all those partial fools commend
Who haunt Parnassus but to please their friend ,
Not mend their minds : as some to Schools repair
Not for the doctrine , but the comrades there .
Secure in such approval , he makes bold
To drape his blunders in a veil of gold :
His passion , like his lamp , at midnight glows ,
Till weary limbs betray him to repose :
Swift to the golden clime his soul is fled ;
The Andes tower mysterious round his bed :
O’er crag and gulph by dusky guides convey’d
Amaz’d he gains a cavern’s frightful shade ;
Discretion counsels , valour bars retreat :
Through labyrinthine tunnels haste his feet ;
A roar proclaims the subterranean stream :
Strange on that inky flood the torches gleam :
Down rough-hewn steps a fragile bark is moor’d — seventh page
He shudders , calls on Heav’n and leaps aboard :
Wild down the raging torrent he is swept ,
By pitying Naiads from destruction kept :
Through gloomy vaults and ways for ever dark ,
Sad echo long pursues the flying bark :
The current slackens , rocky walls loom gray —
He glides into the grateful light of day .
Lo ! calm and blue the sacred lake extends ,
Speed to his sail a gentle zephyr lends :
All danger past, his fearful voyage o’er ,
With heart aglow he gains the friendly shore ,
Through streets of gold a dazzled guest to roam
Where jewels blaze from pinnacle and dome :
Dreaming he wanders through his land of dreams ,
Till fair in view a lofty palace gleams :
Endless the golden steps : he mounts alone ;
Bright-harness’d guards conduct him to the Throne :
The Inca beckons : reverent he stands
To take the costly gift from royal hands ,
And see , though mists before his vision whirl ,
A chalice rich with amethyst and pearl :
Clear ruby glows , the’ immortal wine he sips —
He wakes , with burning brow and fever’d lips .
Bitter his loss , but swift he hopes again ,
And strives some lovely shadow to retain :
Huddled in blankets and addressed to write ,
He tames in verse the peril of the night :
Fast fades the dream ; yet diligent his pen
Till grey-ey’d Morn awakes the world of men .
The happy poet ! honour crown thy lays !
Fame will not grudge thee thy desert of praise ;
The single-hearted ! who thy life wouldst give
Without regret, to make one sonnet live ;
Barter the riches of all space and time
For one bright image , or one perfect rhyme ;
All gold reject , one shining phrase to save —
Blind shall I call thee , or past vision brave ?
High-minded bards are recompensed , not sold ;
Yet few at heart despise the proffered gold :
Not for the world they sing , they seek not praise ; eighth page
Yet inly glow when laurels crown their lays :
Do thou the like : when gilded counters shine ,
Inherit Eldorado — it is thine :
Nor at my hands this laurel crown refuse ,
Though I with rival passion court the Muse :
Which of our songs the costly prize has gained
Let them determine , who our strife ordained .
In mutual admiration let us rest :
They best can value us , who know us best .

Eldorado was the subject set for an undergraduate prize so this must have been written before July 1951. I think Christine Kennedy suggested the tag for the pseudonym. The script was professionally typed and corrected.