BALLADE DE LA JOLIE MARION

It is a sweet thing to be loved,

Although my sighs in absence wake,

Although my saddening heart is moved,

I smile and bear for love’s dear sake.

My songs their wonted music make,

Joyous and careless, songs of youth,

Because the sacred lips of both

Are met to kiss the last good-bye,

Because sweet glances weep for truth

That we must part, and love must die.

Remembrance of love’s long delights

Is to remember sighs and tears,

Yet I will think upon the nights

I whispered into passionate ears

The fond desires, the sweet faint fears.

My lover’s limbs of lissome white

Gleamed in the darkness and strange light,

The wondrous orbs voluptuously

Bent on me all unearthly bright:

But we must part, and love must die.

 

Fond limbs with mine were intertwined, [38]

A hand lascivious fondled me;

My ears grew deaf, my eyes grew blind,

My tongue was hot from kisses free,

Short madness, and we lazily

Lolled back upon the bed of fire.

I was a-weary — her desire

Drew her upon me — Marion, fie!

You work our pleasure till I tire:

But we must part, and love must die.

 

Nor thus did love’s embraces wane,

Though lusty limbs grow idle quite;

Our mouths’ red valves are over-fain

To suck the sweetness from the night;

And amorously, with touches light,

Steal passion from reluctant pain.

So has the daystar fled again

Before the blushes of the sky,

So did I clasp thy knees in vain:

For we must part, and love must die.

 

You say another’s sensuous lips

Shall open to my kisses there:

When weary, steal those luscious sips;

Another’s hands play in my hair

And find delight for me to bare [39]

The bosom, and the passionate mound

White and, for Venus’ temple, round,

A garden of wild thyme whose eye

My sword shall pierce, and never wound:

For we must part, and love must die.

 

You say — but Oh! my Marion’s kiss

Shall linger on my palate still,

No joy on earth is like to this

That we have tasted to our fill

Of all our sweet lascivious will.

The cup is drained of lust’s delight,

Yet wells with pleasure, and by night

I’ll come once more and loving lie

Between thine amorous limbs, despite

That we must part and love must die.

 

ENVOI

Thus, sweet, I’ll sing when day doth break

And weary lovers must awake

To part, but now our pleasure take

In one last bout of rivalry,

Whose passions first shall answer make

To the dances that the curtains shake

Till we must part and love must die. [40]

 

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Preface | Dedicace | Prefatory Sonnet to the Virgin Mary | A Fragment | The Rainbow | With a Copy of ‘Poems and Ballads’ | Ad Lydiam, Ut Secum A Martio Fugeret | Contra Conjugium T.B.B. | A Ballad of Choosing | A Jealous Lover | Ballade de la Jolie Marion | At Stockholm | Mathilde | Yet Time To Turn | All Night | Ode to Venus Callipyge | Volupté | …