One who has loved
One who has loved is never quite alone,
though all the hills declare our solitude.
Having known you, I am no more afraid,
the essential singleness of blood and bone
when dispossessed, comes never in return;
one who has loved is never quite alone.
Look, my love
Look, my love, the mist is on the fields
and westward where the wooded slopes are dark
one star is steadying the falling night;
this is the last hour for the distant thrush;
listen, a church bell tolls beyond the hill:
the valley holds the tokens of the day –
nine strokes – and slowly lets them drift away.
Then thrush and bell and all the trees are still.
Now will you turn and let me speak with you?
What will bear witness to my steadfast love?
How can I say it, show it, make it sure,
then set it free to journey through the world?
I give it up; it would take forever after
to prove in words what only life can show,
and there is too much need of present laughter,
and, in the end, I know that you will know.
The buds unfold upon the bough
that slept the bitter winter through.
Whose voice has bid them waken now?
The voice that also spoke to you.
The flowers stir with April rain;
they thrive and grow and blossom free.
Whose voice has bid them rise again?
The voice that also spoke to me.
The birds are here that once had flown
the hidden highways of the sky.
We know – we know who called them home,
for we have heard Him, you and I.
Over the fields and the woodland road
the killdeer are crying, my own dear heart.
Over the meadows the larks call home,
my voice is seeking for you alone.
Say – will you come?
Where the stream ripples, the red-wing sings;
the crows fly down to the stubble corn;
the alders are thick with catkin and cone.
See – are you watching the cloud-strewn sky
as the south winds blow?
Over the pasture the plovers cry;
the fringe of the wood is alive with song,
and the white sheep crop in the wakening green.
The Shepherd stands by the pasture bar –
let us take Him our lambs.
These poems and others by Jane Clement can be found in her anthology, No One Can Stem The Tide.