“Lamia” John Waterhouse


What shall I tell you
fair maiden?
Shall I tell you
of the bitter truth
that all that has been
and all that will be
can be seen here
by me
in the endless expanse of your eyes
and shall I tell you
of this armor
and how it bites and pinches
and how I wish
my heart to be free of it
and how it endeavors to stay
a prison for a soul
so afraid to be alone
it chooses isolation
were I never to know
passion’s true kiss
it would be possible to close
mine eyes and imagine the days
where you and I can sit
together in the light
and speak no more of these
dark dreams
that sit coiled around my bedpost
and wait for me
to lose my battle with sleep
my heart bares so many scars
believe me when I tell you
that it is not fit to dwell
within your holy hands
which even now
have the power to touch away pain
true enough
I’d swear an oath
to whatever gods made thee
if I could but stay here
and waste away my days
in your embrace
craving neither food nor drink
subsisting on the bounty of your love
but it is not so
that this providential phenomena
the passing of two hearts
so close together
should end in our
traveling in the same direction
and though I will
climb the mountain
again and again
I am destined to stand
in the shadowed vale
and wish for
the sun

About Eric

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