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Sunrise Clouds

Poetry for Valentine’s Day

Philip Britts

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Valentine Verse

If we should walk in moonlight,
My valentine and I,
In slow step, by a stream of stars
Where water lilies lie:
Where the elm trees stand in silence
Down the hill like a line of kings,
And alone, in a world that listens,
The nightingale sings:
Sweet the smell of the meadow,
Cool the kiss of the breeze,
A dainty foot and a steady foot,
Step slowly under the trees.
If we should walk in moonlight,
While we and our love are young,
We should hear a softer music
Than the nightingale has sung.

1937

 

Jealousy

Can a man think of Love when Jealousy
Sears the retreating soul within him?
Yes, for Love is not a fragile thing,
Not a child in the heart.
Love must be hot with the glory of strength:
At the bidding of Jealousy, unwelcome guest,
We look at Love through green glasses.
Then Love, who is lusty and strong,
Smashes the glass before our eyes-
Strides into our wounded hearts with a sword of reproach;
And only when we feel that the heart will break,
Love, the strong, the sweet, the terrible, becomes
Our rescuer and not our conqueror.

1935

 

And the Twain Shall Be One

When morning flushed the hedgerow,
Bowed down with May in flower,
I felt the hidden challenge
Of Beauty as a Power:
And then it was your word, your look,
That woke and filled the hour.

Now, in the bright of noonday,
When strength is at the peak,
And life runs strong to labour,
With many things to seek—
For Truth to guide and Love to speed,
I wait to hear you speak.

And who can tell what battles
Shall fill the hard-fought day?
But stay, dear heart, beside me,
Along the unknown way:
That we may watch together still
The sunset on the May.

October 1946

Lovers walking along a river bank with houses in the background. Henri Martin, The Lovers (detail)
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