Love's Comings


When I was young, and wanton, wide-eyed Life
Teased me from sleeping, Love himself did come
Me to console and learn to dream awake.
With heavenly toys my pillow he bestrewed,
Gifts of Dame Venus in his babyhood —
The little mirror that had held her face;
A golden shoe that Pegasus had cast,
One of her dove's bright plumes, an irised edge
Broke from the shell she lay in at her birth:
A rose kissed open by immortal lips.
All night I with the pretty baubles played,
Then asked his name, not knowing him who he was.
" I am First Love, " quoth he, and straightway fled.


Youth with First Love was gone and Life asleep,
But I lay wakeful, lonely even for dreams,
When one came suddenly, like a serving King,
And smoothed my pillow. Wonderful his eyes
As winter waters that enfold a star.
No baubles did he bring nor any rose,
But for a scepter held a branch of thorns
Thick studded as with rubies — Trembling sore,
" Kind Lord, " I questioned, " who art thou in truth? "
Then did he bend his scepter to my breast:
" I am Last Love, " he said, " and I remain. "
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