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.