H O M E

Love Songs
by
Sara Teasdale
(1917)
    Part I

    Part II

    Part III

    Part IV:



    Poets' Corner Scripting
    © 2000, 2020 S.L. Spanoudis and
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    Transcribed for Poets' Corner
    July 2000 by S.L.Spanoudis



    [This 1917 work is believed to be in the public domain in the US. Please check local restrictions in other geographies.]


    [Editor's Note: This book, as originally published, contains many selections taken from two of Teasdale's previous works, Rivers to the Sea and Helen of Troy and Other Poems. Only a few of these poems are included in this online version, primarily in cases where Teasdale made slight changes from earlier versions. Note that she left instructions for only about 15 of the works from sections I and III be included in her Collected Poems. Modifications are individually noted for each poem. -- Steve]


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Sara Teasdale
Love Songs

by Sara Teasdale

To E.

[1917]

    Part IV

    A November Night

      THERE! See the line of lights,
      A chain of stars down either side the street --
      Why can't you lift the chain and give it to me,
      A necklace for my throat? I'd twist it round
      And you could play with it. You smile at me
      As though I were a little dreamy child
      Behind whose eyes the fairies live. . . . And see,
      The people on the street look up at us
      All envious. We are a king and queen,
      Our royal carriage is a motor bus,
      We watch our subjects with a haughty joy. . . .
      How still you are! Have you been hard at work
      And are you tired to-night? It is so long
      Since I have seen you -- four whole days, I think.
      My heart is crowded full of foolish thoughts
      Like early flowers in an April meadow,
      And I must give them to you, all of them,
      Before they fade. The people I have met,
      The play I saw, the trivial, shifting things
      That loom too big or shrink too little, shadows
      That hurry, gesturing along a wall,
      Haunting or gay -- and yet they all grow real
      And take their proper size here in my heart
      When you have seen them. . . . There's the Plaza now,
      A lake of light! To-night it almost seems
      That all the lights are gathered in your eyes,
      Drawn somehow toward you. See the open park
      Lying below us with a million lamps
      Scattered in wise disorder like the stars.
      We look down on them as God must look down
      On constellations floating under Him
      Tangled in clouds. . . . Come, then, and let us walk
      Since we have reached the park. It is our garden,
      All black and blossomless this winter night,
      But we bring April with us, you and I;
      We set the whole world on the trail of spring.
      I think that every path we ever took
      Has marked our footprints in mysterious fire,
      Delicate gold that only fairies see.
      When they wake up at dawn in hollow tree-trunks
      And come out on the drowsy park, they look
      Along the empty paths and say, "Oh, here
      They went, and here, and here, and here! Come, see,
      Here is their bench, take hands and let us dance
      About it in a windy ring and make
      A circle round it only they can cross
      When they come back again!" . . . Look at the lake --
      Do you remember how we watched the swans
      That night in late October while they slept?
      Swans must have stately dreams, I think. But now
      The lake bears only thin reflected lights
      That shake a little. How I long to take
      One from the cold black water -- new-made gold
      To give you in your hand! And see, and see,
      There is a star, deep in the lake, a star!
      Oh, dimmer than a pearl -- if you stoop down
      Your hand could almost reach it up to me. . . .

      There was a new frail yellow moon to-night --
      I wish you could have had it for a cup
      With stars like dew to fill it to the brim. . . .

      How cold it is! Even the lights are cold;
      They have put shawls of fog around them, see!
      What if the air should grow so dimly white
      That we would lose our way along the paths
      Made new by walls of moving mist receding
      The more we follow. . . . What a silver night!
      That was our bench the time you said to me
      The long new poem -- but how different now,
      How eerie with the curtain of the fog
      Making it strange to all the friendly trees!
      There is no wind, and yet great curving scrolls
      Carve themselves, ever changing, in the mist.
      Walk on a little, let me stand here watching
      To see you, too, grown strange to me and far. . . .
      I used to wonder how the park would be
      If one night we could have it all alone --
      No lovers with close arm-encircled waists
      To whisper and break in upon our dreams.
      And now we have it! Every wish comes true!
      We are alone now in a fleecy world;
      Even the stars have gone. We two alone!

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