Shadows are dancing , alive as the flame is alive :
My setting is complete .
Candle flame leaping , and you in your chair by the fire ,
I at your feet :
Now comes the longing , now the unmastered desire
To sing , to sing —
To make you music , to frame an exquisite song
Sweet as a bird’s ,
Worthy your beauty , worthy my infinite love ;
But not expressed in words .
26 April 1954
The sweet of life is mine , and mine to give ,
If you by your acceptance make it mine ;
Yours is the mastery of all that live
If your life to my mastery resign .
For what in life is sweet by love is sweet ,
And love when sweetest may not live alone ;
Till love with love in sweet submission meet
Love has no power to comprehend his own .
Yield then your heart , and take it yours again
With all my heart . with all the sweet of life ;
Fear not that pleasure once possessed may wane —
Happy the bride , more happy yet the wife .
The richness of our love is but begun
When all I ask and all you grant are one .
7 April 1954
Now spare her sweet body , ye minions of darkness ,
Ye hell-hounds that batter the gate of her ear ;
Her soul stands impregnable , ram ye till doomsday ,
Withdraw from the ramparts , make war on me here .
Come , march in your millions , beleaguer my body ,
With pikes and with pitchforks beriddle my brain ;
My sleep be your plunder , that she lie not sleepless —
I sleepless already now welcome your pain .
In vain , for she suffers , I powerless to aid her ;
Hell mocks at my fury , my impotent grief :
The Lord by whose licence the tempter makes trial ,
Now limit his triumph , and grant her relief .
Finished 2 April 1954