Look my young fool, born with the Spring’s first green,
our morning is all spent and now the afternoon
bleeds red in the west. Will you really be so mean
as to ignore the pot you set upon the coals?
I want you, and the water will be boiling soon.
Come, Fool, with me to bed and join our separate souls.
Paramour, grown in the Summer’s waves of heat,
flushed with carnal purpose, erect as the foxglove
in June and full of poise and poison, damp my sheets
with dew until the flame has settled in the coals,
’til kindlier sleep comes to loose the coils of love
and gently sets to rest our joined and separate souls.
Next will come Autumn with blackberries and bronze,
that ambered season both of thorns and harvest wine.
See in the burnt sky the unceasing flight of swans
returning south. Let us stoke the settling coals
and lay in heavy blankets to rest our toiling spines,
nesting together our joined and separate souls.
Will our love endure the Winter’s unbreaking dark?
We cannot know the sacrifice it may require
to uncover from the ashes an errant spark
and fan again to flames the settled coals.
Or perhaps we will commence, by putting oil to fire,
the conflagration of our joined and separate souls.
The rhyme scheme of this poem was modeled after Ernest Dowson’s non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno cynarae.