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Poem by Gerald Massey

Wooed and Won

THE plough of Time breaks up our Eden-land,
And tramples down its fruitful flowery prime.
Yet thro' the dust of ages living shoots
O' the old immortal seed start in the furrows;
And, where Love looketh on with glorious eye,
These quicken'd germs of everlastingness
Flower lusty, as of old in Paradise!
And blessings on the starry chance of love!
And blessings on the morn of merry May!
That led my footsteps to your beechen bower.
Thus hangs the picture in my mind, sweet Wife!
Rich as a Millais in its tint and tone.
Nature flasht by me with her glorious shows.
The birds were singing on the blossoming boughs,
With Love's sweet mystery stirring at their hearts,
Like first spring-motions in the veins o' the flowers.
A light of green laught up the shining hills,
Which rounded through the mellowing, gloating air,
As their big hearts heaved to some heart beyond,
Or strove with inner yearnings for the crown
Of purple rondure smiling there in heaven!
The Flowers were forth in all their conquering beauty,
And, winking in their Mother Earth's old face,
Said, all her children should have happy hearts.
Deeper and deeper in the wood's green gloom
I nestled for the fever at life's core:
And thirstily my heart was drinking in
Rich overflowings of some Cushat's love;
When, flash! the air instinct with splendours grew,
As if the world, while on her starry journey,
Had suddenly floated in the clime of heaven.
Upon a primrose bank you sat,a sight
To couch the old blind sorrow of my soul!
A sweet new blossom of Humanity, 
Fresh fallen from God's own home to flower on earth,
A golden burst of sunbeams glinted through
The verdurous roof's lush-leafy greenery,
And on you dropt its crown of living light.
Your eyeshalf-shut, while thro' their silken eaves
Trembled the secret sweetness hid at heart
Oped sudden at full, and wide with wonderment!
The sweetest eyes that ever drank sun for soul:
As subtly tender as a summer heaven,
Brimm'd with the beauty of a starry night!
Your face, so dewy fresh and wondrous fair,
Kindled and lighten'd as the coming God
Were labouring upward thro' its birth of fire!
The fleetest swallow-dip of a tender smile
Ran round your mouth in thrillings; while your cheek
Dimpled, as from the arch Love's finger-print,
Out flew his signal, fluttering in a blush!
And when your voice broke up the air for music,
It smote upon my startled heart as smites
The new-born babe's first cry a mother's ear,
Yet strangely toucht some mystic memory,
And dimly seem'd some old familiar sound.
That day, with an immortalizing kiss,
You crown'd me monarch of your rich heart-world,
Which heaved a boundless sea of love, whose tides
Ran radiant pulsings thro' your rosy limbs.
How the love-lights did float up in your eyes,
Like virgin stars from violet depths of night!
Dear eyes! all craving with Love's ache and hunger!
And all the spirit stood in your face athirst!
And from the rose-cup of your murmuring mouth
Sweetness o'erflow'd, as from a fragrant fount.
O kiss of life! that oped our Eden-world!
The harvest of an age's wealth of bliss
In that first kiss was reapt in one rich minute!
The wanton airs came breathing like the touch
Of fragrant lips that feed the blood with flame!
The very earth seem'd bursting up, and heaven
Clung round and claspt us as in glowing arms,
To crush the wine of all your ripen'd beauty,
Which were a fitting sacrament for death 
Into a costly cup of life for me.

Gerald Massey

Gerald Massey's other poems:
  1. Love in Idleness
  2. A Maiden's Song
  3. A Night-Musing
  4. Long Expected
  5. A Lyric of Love

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