Page:Early poems of William Morris.djvu/191

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Old Love

135

Her lips are drier now she is
A great duke's wife these many years,
They will not shudder with a kiss
As once they did, being moist with tears.


Also her hands have lost that way
Of clinging that they used to have;
They look'd quite easy, as they lay
Upon the silken cushions brave


With broidery of the apples green
My Lord Duke bears upon his shield.
Her face, alas! that I have seen
Look fresher than an April field,


This is all gone now; gone also
Her tender walking; when she walks
She is most queenly I well know,
And she is fair still:—as the stalks


Of faded summer-lilies are.
So is she grown now unto me
This spring-time, when the flowers star
The meadows, birds sing wonderfully.


I warrant once she used to cling
About his neck, and kiss'd him so,
And then his coming step would ring
Joy-bells for her,—some time ago.


Ah! sometimes like an idle dream
That hinders true life overmuch,
Sometimes like a lost heaven, these seem—
This love is not so hard to smutch.