The Second Wooing (Rudyard Kipling)
"Lo! I am, Love, and I bring thee a passion back from the dead? "
Then I rose in the darkness and lit the lamp, and there shone in my face
The beauty of bygone years and the hope of a bygone grace.
Then I clad myself as of old and sang to myself in joy:
"Shall we change as woman and man who changed not as girl and boy."
And He entered the room in the midst of my song and we stood apart,
And I raised my eyes to His eyes, and love died out of my heart.
But we kissed each other once on the lips, and His lips were cold;
And hand touched hand for a moment, and then we loosened hold.
And His words were as smooth as mine, but His eyes were as carven stone;
And I laid my hand on His wrist, and His pulse was as calm us my own.
Yet I strove to talk of our love as a thing that should have no end,
But the words were changed on my tongue—and I talked as the merest friend.
And he spoke of His hopes and my beauty, our struggles and hundred fears,
As men tell of a dream they have dreamt to their children in after years.
And as children parade the cart, the Noah's Ark and the ball,
And set them in rank and order, though delight be passed from all.
As men seek for fire in the embers, and rake them and turn them over,
We paraded old love and we sought for new love, I and my Lover.
And then, when the dawn was approaching, He paled in the coming light ;
And e'en as He faded from me so Love passed out of my right.