We bought a volume of Anacreon,
Defaced, mishandled, little to admire,
And yet its rusty clasps kept guard upon
The sweetest songs, the songs of young desire
Like that great song once sung by Solomon.
My sweetheart’s cheeks were peonies on fire:
We saw by the bright message of his eyes
That Eros served us in bookseller’s guise.
I keep the volume still, but She has gone . . .
Ah, for the poetry in Paradise!
There’s Honey still and Roses on the earth,
And lips to kiss, and jugs to drain with mirth;
And lovers walk in pairs: but She has gone . . .
© Victor Daley