Treasure Island

David MacDonald Ross

(1865 / Australia)

Love's Treasure House


I went to Love's old treasure house last night,
Alone, when all the world was still -- asleep,
And saw the miser Memory, grown gray
With years of jealous counting of his gems,
There seated. Keen was his eye, his hand
Firm as when first his hoarding he began
Of precious things of Love, long years ago.
"And this," he said, "is gold from out her hair,
And this the moonlight that she wandered in,
With here a rose, enamelled by her breath,
That bloomed in glory 'tween her breasts, and here
The brimming sun-cup that she quaffed at noon,
And here the star that cheered her in the night;
In this great chest, see curiously wrought,
Are purest of Love's gems." A ruby key,
Enclasped upon a golden ring, he took,
With care, from out some secret hiding-place,
And delicately touched the lock, whereat
I staggered, blinded by the light of things
More luminous than stars, and questioned thus --
"What are these treasures, miser Memory?"
And slowly bending his gray head, he spoke:
"These are the multitudes of kisses sweet
Love gave so gladly, and I treasure here."

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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