by: Laurence Hope (1865-1904)
- OU were
more than a Lover to me,--
- Were something sacred, and half divine,--
- Akin to Sunset over the Sea,
- To leaves that tremble and stars that shine.
- There was not much to attract in me,
- No gift or beauty; you did not care
- Enough to give me fidelity
- Who cared so deeply, and could not share.
- Alas, my Temple! I find the Shrine
- I entered barefoot, with bended head,
- To pay that tender homage of mine,
- An open courtyard, where all may tread!
- And all men knew it, I hear, but I,
- Who being a trusting fool, it seems,
- Went to the Market of Love to buy
- With coins of worship, and faith, and dreams!
- Still it is over. Now, to forget!
- I know not whether to choose anew
- In hopes of finding loyalty yet,
- Or fond but faithless, drift on with you.
- Loving you lightly, among the rest,--
- (Many a little, not greatly one),--
- You may be right: I may find it best
- To do, henceforward, as you have done.
- But ah, for my sweet, lost nights with you,
- When had Death been, in the dawning grey,
- Price of your beauty and love, I knew
- I would have paid, and been glad to pay!
POEMS BY LAURENCE HOPE
"Disloyal" is reprinted
from Poetica Erotica. Ed. T.R. Smith. New York: Crown