September 22, 2009

This Inconstant Love

What inconstant love is this,
that waxes and wanes
according to the course of the sun,

warming to love
as the sunlight
the morning dew,
then failing
as the sun
falls from the heights
and plunges into cold ocean?

says my love,

your love is steady
but weak
as the untrimmed wick
amid the draft.

Glowing bright in the graceful breezes of morning

but nearly failing
when the wick is long spent
and evening winds rush to the sea.

What foolish astronomy
when the songbird
can eclipse the sun;
when the croak of cold toads
drowns out the music of the stars.

But my love says,
I created the bird and the toad
and song and fen;

love me in these,
but not too much.

And so I must love
abandoned to the tides and waves,
for everlasting morning.  

William E. Rushman, November 2001

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