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A heartwarming gift for you on this cold Valentine’s Day: “Phyllis Loves Kelly,” 60 years of collected love poems from poet Phyllis Gotlieb to her husband, Kelly...

 

 

A Pastoral Ballad, Absence

1Ye shepherds so cheerful and gay,
2    Whose flocks never carelessly roam;
3Should Corydon's happen to stray,
4    Oh! call the poor wanderers home.
5Allow me to muse and to sigh,
6    Nor talk of the change that ye find;
7None once was so watchful as I;
8    I have left my dear Phillis behind.
9Now I know what it is, to have strove
10    With the torture of doubt and desire;
11What it is to admire and to love,
12    And to leave her we love and admire,
13Ah, lead forth my flock in the morn,
14    And the damps of each evening repel;
15Alas! I am faint and forlorn:
16    -I have bade my dear Phillis farewell.
17Since Phillis vouchsaf'd me a look,
18    I never once dreamed of my vine;
19May I lose both my pipe and my crook,
20    If I knew of a kid that was mine!
21I priz'd every hour that went by,
22    Beyond all that had pleas'd me before;
23But now they are past, and I sigh;
24    And I grieve that I priz'd them no more.
25But why do I languish in vain;
26    Why wander thus pensively here?
27Oh! why did I come from the plain,
28    Where I fed on the smiles of my dear?
29They tell me, my favourite maid,
30    The pride of that valley, is flown;
31Alas! where with her I have stray'd,
32    I could wander with pleasure, alone.
33When forc'd the fair nymph to forgo,
34    What anguish I felt at my heart!
35Yet I thought-but it might not be so-
36    'Twas with pain that she saw me depart.
37She gaz'd, as I slowly withdrew:
38    My path I could hardly discern;
39So sweetly she bade me adieu,
40    I thought that she bade me return.
41The pilgrim that journeys all day
42    To visit some far distant shrine,
43If he bear but a relique away,
44    Is happy, nor heard to repine.
45Thus widely remov'd from the fair,
46    Where my vows, my devotion, I owe,
47Soft hope is the relique I bear,
48    And my solace wherever I go.
 What thou lovest well remains,
                  the rest is dross
What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee
What thou lov'st well is thy true heritage
Whose world, or mine or theirs
                or is it of none?
First came the seen, then thus the palpable
    Elysium, though it were in the halls of hell,
What thou lovest well is thy true heritage
What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee
Ezra Pound Pisan Cantos, LXXXI
Maps