First Love (1982)

Though a sad day goes,
And a sad night comes
(For my Dear’s not here with me),
I will bring up living
Our first-love’s giving,
When out of the sea came she.

Her leap was as sweet wind was,
Singing sweet, and where white waves
Rushed downward, shedding brightness at her side,
Her spirit-wings went soaring,
The song of her was Pride.
Her face flamed into rapture
As she plashed upon each wave;
High billows swelled against her,
But how low to one how brave.
Her hands, in easy motion,
Caught a foam-bell at her knee,
Caught it up, and leaning shoreward
Blew it shining clear to me.
So light a thing, so fragile,
Yet it sailed above my hand,
While climbing through the combers
Strode all Beauty to the sand.

She, who saw me rising,
As in worshipping I rose;
She, whose tender love-poem
Was the pureness of no pose,
As I closed the reach between us,
Going softly through the tide,
Said to me, spoke words to me—-
Great love-words undenied—-
“Sing, O Man, make music,
Say desires here;
Our hearts have blended rhythms,
Our eyes make flames appear.
My limbs, and all my body,
My yearning blood and will,
For reign of thine are ready,
Thy loving lust to fill”.

Huge waves crashed over gently,
Huge roar of them was sweet,
While flying bubbles shattered
All their flakes upon our feet.
Our hands were like half flowers
Feeling glad again to rise,
Then the petals pierced together
And the sun shot from our eyes.

I knew her dreams were Passion;
I knew her name was True—-
True Love Of Full Possession—-
That all my longings drew.
And though how scorched within me
My thirst kept welling up,
I knew my soul abstracted,
And speech spilled from my cup.

O Sweet Warm Mouth so perfect,
So justified to be;
O Rare High Brow a-shining,
Whose thoughts Love’s deeds will be;
I sign my lips upon thee,
I sign my life and soul,
Shut out all gods but Beauty,
Make you my only goal.
Now with these waves competing
My coursing veins aspire
To be in your veins beating
Until my blood turns fire.

A universe of pleasure
Our bodies were, our minds;
We freed ourselves past measure,
Then sought a deed that binds.
And though such deeds devour
Until all flesh have rest,
Our minds, that never tired,
Were each to each addressed.

I questioned her, she answered;
We disagreed, and laughed.
Then word to word was mirrored
And we held ourselves not half.
Her strange bright eyes and body,
Her shimmering burst of hair,
Her silver globes of sweetness,
Her golden lyre fair.
And then, ah, yes, that silence:
No touch, no sigh, no moan.
Only Time not passing,
But I and my Love alone.

Such then, so much, and not lesser,
Our triumphing love-at-first-sight;
And now, as the tide goes ebbing,
I’m standing up glad and light.

So, as these waves slide outward,
Now, as these winds depart,
I’ll steer out a song far southward
To the singer who has my heart.

“O Holy Flesh Divinest,
O Earthly Mind and Pride,
O Worthiest and Wisest,
Whose pulse is in my side,
Your “Yea!” to me be taken,
And so my “Yea!” to thee,
That o’er this earth, sea-shaken,
Sad days shall no more be.

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