After Ronsard

I send you this bouquet, which my own

hands just culled from the marvellous bed;

if spring’s not gathered tonight, I said,

tomorrow her beauty will have flown.


Let its light serve as a sermon then,

how your charms flourishing their fair May

shall soon be invested with frost-grey

and, bit by bit, become forgotten.


Time paces restlessly on, my sweet,

and yet it is not time’s but our feet

that point to a house beneath the hill,


and the joy we are now free to choose

is something of which skulls have no news:

O love, love me while you’re lovely still.