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Ballad for a Wintry Afternoon

 
(For the lorn)
 

Because I
could not
stop for her
she would not
stop for me

and so we
crossed
each other out
until eternity

until eternity
it was
I saw her
yet again

this time
we both stepped
out of line
to ask
about the pain

her answer was
a query
my own reply
a lie

for we were
both
but weary
of the truth
that questions
why?

how can we
know
the meanings now
of words left
unsaid?

of deeds left
but half undone
of fears
that fancy bred?

and dreams there were
a hundred score
and yearnings
even more

the agony of
sorrow fed
on joys that
went before

for my love
is like a waterway
winding through
the wastes
of time

now sliding down a
vale of
tears
now climbing
hills sublime

yes, my love is
like a waterway
but hers is like
a rose

so she prefers
to let it
lay
full blown
in sweet repose

but I adhere
to older fears
and ask: whither
it goes?

why the wonder
is gone to weed
though the musk
within
still blows?
 
(ii)
 
Love beats to
slower paces
now
or so the
aging markers
tell

the sirens sleep
a goodly sleep
nor hear
the tolling
bell
 
(iii)
 
Because one did
not
dare to do
another, firmly
found a way

and time
that keeps the
record books
but let this record
say

he loved
too dearly to be
true
nor sought to
question why

he chanced upon
his only truth
but she took it
for a lie

they take the blame
who know the game
and fools, they
rarely gain

but O dear god!
for but one more
chance
to roll the dice
again!

to roll the dice again
ye gods!
wanting (just once)
to win

to beat the reign
of unbroken odds
and still the pain
within

to still the pain
of impassioned love
unrequited to
the last

to dull the flame
of fury born
from raw remembrance
past

raw remembrance past
dear heart!
fury, forever slain

banished hurt from
all the scars
in this world
now on the wane

yes, in our world
now on the wane
I fear
the years have left
us dry

and now only
the dregs remain
nor tears to
help us cry

yes, our world
is on the wane
my friend
time’s arrow
speeds on high

our fondest hopes
now vain my love
our sweetest smile
a sigh!

in swiftest streams
the sands run out
Our joys grow
spectre thin

age withers our
sparkled mein
as lifeblood
cools within
 
(iv)
 
like dusk at noon
or a dappled moon
our lives begin
to pale

in mine and thine
my Valentine
the light begins
to fail

the light begins
to fail,
O hark!
the night is on
the rise

the song of life
is come to grief
O hear its
last reprise!

an epitaph
for both our hearts
build high above
this hill

buffeted by storm
and wind
it holds
its banners still

‘here lie two such
as never were
betrayed
beneath the sun

here, beauty rests her
lonely heart
here love, ardors
Undone’

here, an angel
writhes for peace
there, a god sleeps
restless nigh

both fled to
havens
past the seas
where the scented
gardens lie

where the jasmine
weaves
a bed of dreams
and passions wake
to spring

where music
flows by fluted
streams
and nightingales
ache to sing

adieu, they fly
on wings of love
and steak across
the blue

but will the myriad
stars above
still swear
their passions true?

ye gods that
write our mortal
script!
but was their
passion true
?
 
[© R.Kanth 2022]

 

Professor Rajani Kanth, is Author of Coda (Novel) , A Day in the Life (Novel), and Expiations (Verse)

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