Muriel Stuart

(1889-1967 / England)

Ave et Vale


FAREWELL is said! Yea, but I cannot take
All that my Greeting gave.
In you hath Hope her doom and Joy her grave;
Still you go crowned with old imaginings,
Clad in the purple that young passion flings
About the sorriest god that Love can make.

Ah! would you might forget, and so pass by
Unwounded of my kiss,
Made free of Youth's unmemorable bliss!
Love's hand that speeds along his daisy chain
Forgets in swift delight to tell again
Old prayers upon a new-strung rosary.

For when I part from you I would not leave
One shadow that might be
A ghost to haunt you, what you had of me
I would fold by in Memory's lavender-
Something my breath may very gently stir
In the slow fading of a rainy eve.

When you drop cherries in the purple wine
For other lips to drain,
Let not old nights betrayed leap up again,
Throw down no murdering chalice at your feast
To-night, nor find another woman's breast
Less lovely with the sudden dream of mine.

Yet if a stranger bear my name, or one
With the same-coloured eyes
Glance at you suddenly, lost dreams shall rise
With unintelligible swift appeals,
The broken images of old ideals
Shall stare from corners where as gods they shone.

Farewell is on the lips of the first kiss
But speaks no word until
The loud voice of Desire hath had its will.
Greeting is swift and beautiful, Farewell
Is slow and patient and immutable,
Knowing of old that love must lead to this.

Greeting! Farewell! The day's grown very old,
My heart put out the light,
Read no more pages of the Past to-night.
There are no roses here to miss the sun;
A soul hath looked on love and he hath flown;
Ashes are on the wind; the tale is told.

Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010

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