IF I COULD WRITE THE BEAUTY OF YOUR EYE

If I could write the beauty of your eye,

The simple goodness of how you treated me;

Our descendants would turn and swear I lie:

That such unconsidered kindness could ever be.

*

Some plead their love and look for recompense;

And your beauty truly glows a light as well,

If I’m decrepit  in my tenderness

I still speak true of you with what I tell.

*

When that churl death with dust my bones shall cover,

Th’ angelic force you embody late and soon,

I come not with passion as an earthly lover,

But in light that comes from far beyond the moon.

*

When I am gone you’ll know I loved you true,

Not with anguished desperation of the hour,

Not with lust and avarice as most men do:

But with trust, and honesty, and power.

*

*

(C) 2015 by William G. Milne

*

*

*

I’m pulling these poems out of my notebooks. None of us know

how long we have to live. And some of these fragments are worth

passing on. I was working with various rhythms. And slowly but

surely I became more and more fascinated with iambic pentameter.

         (*Something that maybe only magicians know – different

voices come through with different rhythms.) 

                             *

         I was working on writing

a book with Shakespeare’s verses – inserting a verse or two of my own

while I was at it, experimenting with shorter lines to compensate for the shorter attention span of the television age. Some of the poems worked out  well.

            (I just noticed a line of Shakespeare in this present poem.) There’s

no way I’m likely to think of a line with the phrase “that churl death” in it.

So let’s give Willie the Shake his due. Of course Willie stole a whole lot of lines himself! And T.S. Eliot, as he says, stole even more: “Lesser poets

borrow, great poets steal.”

               So there’s no way I’m going to apologize in the slightest for any lines that happen to appear.

        Also, as I grow older, I seem to be completely losing my memory.

Maybe it’s the drugs they give me. Maybe it’s the drugs I gave myself.

So any kind of an apology whatsoever is fast becoming an impossibility.

                                                        *

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