Ad Lydiam, Ut Secum A Marito Fugeret


The bird has chosen, and the world of spring

Under Love’s banner is enrolled, but thou,

Chained to the iron couch of wedlock fast,

Art mourning while all nature else doth sing

The deep delights of Love. Still on thy brow

Lurks the dark shade, thy smile is overcast

With fear of the world’s thought, and lips of love
Pale at that spectre, imminent, immense,
Cold Chastity, the child of Impotence,

And eyes grow dim with grey distrust thereof.

Forget, dear heart, forget; life’s glow is sweet:

Come to a lover’s arms that grow divine

At the first eloquent embrace of thine,

While pulses in wild unison warmly beat.


I know a valley walled with glistening steep

Of fire-hewn rock, and stately cliff of ice,

Filled with green lawns and forests black with pine,

Where the clear stream shall sing us into sleep

With murmuring faintly, and devine device:

Come with me there, and we will surely twine [22]

Bright wreaths of Alpine gentian for thine head,
Those glowing tresses, auburn in the sun,

And in the night, dim fires of matchless red
To hold my love, and lead my kisses on

From night to night upon the purple bed
Of dark embraces; till the summer is gone

We will forget in love the world of tears

Whose tumult reaches not our amorous ears.


Come with me thither. Let the chaster snow

Blush at the sunset, when our limbs grow fain

To twine close caressing, let it blush

Redder at sunrise, when our eyelids grow

Weary of kissing, and our arms again

Slowly unclasp, and our fair cheeks do flush

With memory’s modesty. The mountains glow

Warmer and whiter, dreamland’s power shall wane

While the sun tints the beauty of the bush

And all the forest with his finger-tips
Of budding fire, and we surprised will wake

While Shadow’s brush in darker colour dips,
And roam about the valley, and will take

Fresh delicate delight, with smiling lips. [23]


Summer may die, but on the azure sea

That girdles warmer lands the sun will gleam;

There will we wander, over dale and how,

Sweet with green sward, faint flower, and tender tree.

There all the winter may we idly dream

Still of our love, and there forgetfulness

Of the past sorrow may steal o’er thy brow

In the new birth of stainless happiness,

Rich harvest of the blossoms desire,

Satisfied alway, yet for ever fresh

In hearts so passionate, and there may’st thou
Love to thy fulness, nor for ever tire

Of linking me to thee with dainty mesh

Of auburn ripples of delicious fire.


Doubt not, dear love, nor hesitate to say;

Blush if thou wilt; I love to see thy cheek

Grow hot with love-thoughts - let the word be said:

Between shy finger whisper me the ‘yea!’

My soul will leap to hear, as thine to speak.

Remember Love, forget the loveless bed;

Forget thy husband, and the cruel wreck
Of thy dear life on Wedlock’s piteous sands; [24]

Love’s all in all, link on the golden bands

Forged in heaven without flaw or fleck.

I know thine answer by these amorous hands

That touch me thus to tempt me, by the kiss

Whose sudden passion burns upon my neck

Thy heart clings to me in perfect ‘Yes!’ [25]

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