If you were here, I need not write a poem
But quell my pen forevermore, this heart
Tranquil within its moment never solemn
Unto despair, nor happy but in art.
If you were here, a joy would be complete
In its fulfillment that for many a year
Were left unsatisfied, as none unseat
The reigning memory of love so dear!
That other love—think not on her, or him
That might have loved, for only it were I
So love nor time may tarnish nor may dim
The love heart holds for you, as you may try
If you were here—but you are far away,
As to reclaim I never fervent pray.
Ah, sultry nights of love. Against the shore
Come crashing waves that bring a gentle breeze
Here in the tropics, and did you love me more
Then it would have me back upon my knees
Against God’s protestations, did he dare,
And it condemn me! but pulsating life
But indicates, where you are, God is there,
Though we may never live as man and wife.
The rooms we let, sweet visage from the past,
Were near to this, the undulating ocean,
And so my lot with yours forever cast
Though we no longer share mutual devotion.
The sea of love, once at the full, were fallow
As memory but consecrate and hallow.
If you were here, then I must kiss and hold
What were impossible, a vanished sprite,
Because a dream that had been burnished gold
Were lost into the ocean of the night.
The soft pulsating roar, the twinkling stars
Attest to love’s continuance in abeyance,
As lines full-ripe are born of matters sparse,
And fill with fruit the dearth of their conveyance.
If you were here, it were no need for words!
If you were here, but kiss me ever over
As I kiss you, and loin to loin engirds
Enclasped in passion lover unto lover.
If you were here—but fortune were not iffed:
There lies between impassible a rift.
Ah, ocean, ocean vast, if one were here
Then I might tranquil sleep, restless tonight,
That leave a bed and one beside me near
To muse upon an ancient appetite.
Ah, ocean, unto you I tell my sorrow,
As stars receive my soft unspoken prayer,
For from the past my memory must borrow
Fulfillment that the present cannot bear.
Let us to sleep. I sleep and dream on one
That were not constant as the ocean is,
Because love flickered and was swiftly gone
And I remain with ever only this.
If you, sweet phantom, had been here tonight,
Then all creation’s wrongs had been made right.