On the cliff

On the cliff

Green eyes gazing out to sea ,
Hands cupped under pointed chin —
Mortal house , but dear to me
For the soul that lives within —
When at last the lease is run
All must fall to disrepair ;
Now , before our day is done
Let me take possession there .

Think , these breakers in the bay
Grinding on this granite steep
Even this must wear away ,
Drown five hundred fathoms deep ;
Time sweeps on , a tidal wave
Unopposed by shifting sands :
What enchantment then can save
Green eyes drowned , or gentle hands ?

Souls may fuse and live as one
When clasped hands are laid to rest ;
Yet , before our day is done
Let me learn to be your guest :
We shall rest content , they say
Though green eyes lie fathoms deep ;
Yet , sweet , come , and while we may
Counterfeit our death in sleep .

14th January 1952

The Vow

The Vow

Daybreak , and all the world to claim ,
Young body confident of fame ,
A merry heart , a fair game ,
And a vow made , beloved .

Noon , and the world to keep at bay ,
Strong mind inured to strength’s decay ,
A stubborn heart , a losing day ,
And a vow strained , beloved .

Night , and the world’s attack complete ,
Exhausted soul in planned retreat ,
A wise heart , a proud defeat ,
And a vow kept , beloved .

7th January 1952