Variations upon Love

Original Text: 

Arthur Symons, Poems, 2 vols. (London: William Heinemann, 1912): 148-51. Internet Archive.

1I.
2For God's sake, let me love you, and give over
3These tedious protestations of a lover;
4We're of one mind to love, and there's no let;
5Remember that, and all the rest forget;
6And let's be happy, mistress, while we may,
7Ere yet to-morrow shall be called to-day.
8To-morrow may be heedless, idle-hearted:
9One night's enough for love to have met and parted.
10Then be it now, and I'll not say that I
11In many several deaths for you would die;
12And I'll not ask you to declare that you
13Will longer love than women mostly do.
14Leave words to them whom words, not doings, move,
15And let our silence answer for our love.
16II.
17O woman! I am jealous of the eyes
18That look upon you; all my looks are spies
19That do but lurk and follow you about,
20Restless to find some guilty secret out.
21I am unhappy if I see you not,
22Unhappy if I see you; tell me what
23That smile betokens? what close thing is hid
24Beneath the half-way lifting of a lid?
25Who is it, tell me, I so dread to meet,
26Just as we turn the corner of the street?
27Daily I search your baffling eyes to see
28Who knows what new admitted company?
29And, sick with dread to find the thing I seek,
30I tremble at the name you do not speak.
31III.
32I know your lips are bought like any fruit;
33I know your love, and of your love the root;
34I know your kisses toll for love that dies
35In kissing, to be buried in your eyes;
36I know I am degraded for your sake,
37And that my shame will not so much as make
38Your glory, or be reckoned in the debt
39Of memories you are mindful to forget.
40All this I know, and, knowing it, I come
41Delighted to my daily martyrdom;
42And, rich in love beyond the common store,
43Become for you a beggar, to implore
44The broken crumbs that from your table fall,
45Freely, in your indifference, on all.
46IV.
47I loved her; and you say she loved me not.
48Well, if I loved her? And if she forgot,
49Well, I have not forgotten even yet:
50Time, and spent tears, may teach me to forget.
51And so she loves another, and did then
52When she was heaven and earth to me, and when,
53Truly, she made me happy. It may be:
54I only know how good she was to me.
55Friend, to have loved, to have been made happy thus,
56What better fate has life in store for us,
57The dream of life from which we have to wake,
58Happier, why not? why not for a dream's sake?
59To have been loved is well, and well enough
60For any man: but 'tis enough to love.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
Data entry: Sharine Leung
RPO Edition: 
2012
Form: