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William Morris (1834-1896)

Love is Enough: Songs I-IX


I
          1.1Love is enough: though the World be a-waning
          1.2     And the woods have no voice but the voice of complaining,
          1.3     Though the sky be too dark for dim eyes to discover
          1.4The gold-cups and daisies fair blooming thereunder,
          1.5Though the hills be held shadows, and the sea a dark wonder,
          1.6     And this day draw a veil over all deeds passed over,
          1.7Yet their hands shall not tremble, their feet shall not falter;
          1.8The void shall not weary, the fear shall not alter
          1.9     These lips and these eyes of the loved and the lover.

II
          2.1Love is enough: have no thought for to-morrow
          2.2     If ye lie down this even in rest from your pain,
          2.3Ye who have paid for your bliss with great sorrow:
          2.4     For as it was once so it shall be again.
          2.5     Ye shall cry out for death as ye stretch forth in vain

          2.6Feeble hands to the hands that would help but they may not,
          2.7     Cry out to deaf ears that would hear if they could;
          2.8Till again shall the change come, and words your lips say not
          2.9     Your hearts make all plain in the best wise they would
        2.10     And the world ye thought waning is glorious and good:

        2.11And no morning now mocks you and no nightfall is weary,
        2.12     The plains are not empty of song and of deed:
        2.13The sea strayeth not, nor the mountains are dreary;
        2.14     The wind is not helpless for any man's need,
        2.15     Nor falleth the rain but for thistle and weed.

        2.16O surely this morning all sorrow is hidden,
        2.17     All battle is hushed for this even at least;
        2.18And no one this noontide may hunger, unbidden
        2.19     To the flowers and the singing and the joy of your feast
        2.20     Where silent ye sit midst the world's tale increased.

        2.21Lo, the lovers unloved that draw nigh for your blessing!
        2.22     For your tale makes the dreaming whereby yet they live
        2.23The dreams of the day with their hopes of redressing,
        2.24     The dreams of the night with the kisses they give,
        2.25     The dreams of the dawn wherein death and hope strive.

        2.26Ah, what shall we say then, but that earth threatened often
        2.27     Shall live on for ever that such things may be,
        2.28That the dry seed shall quicken, the hard earth shall soften,
        2.29     And the spring-bearing birds flutter north o'er the sea,
        2.30     That earth's garden may bloom round my love's feet and me?

III
          3.1Love is enough: it grew up without heeding
          3.2     In the days when ye knew not its name nor its measure,
          3.3     And its leaflets untrodden by the light feet of pleasure
          3.4Had no boast of the blossom, no sign of the seeding,
          3.5     As the morning and evening passed over its treasure.

          3.6And what do ye say then?--That Spring long departed
          3.7     Has brought forth no child to the softness and showers;
          3.8     --That we slept and we dreamed through the Summer of flowers;
          3.9We dreamed of the Winter, and waking dead-hearted
        3.10     Found Winter upon us and waste of dull hours.

        3.11Nay, Spring was o'er-happy and knew not the reason,
        3.12     And Summer dreamed sadly, for she thought all was ended
        3.13     In her fulness of wealth that might not be amended;
        3.14But this is the harvest and the garnering season,
        3.15     And the leaf and the blossom in the ripe fruit are blended.

        3.16It sprang without sowing, it grew without heeding,
        3.17     Ye knew not its name and ye knew not its measure,
        3.18     Ye noted it not mid your hope and your pleasure;
        3.19There was pain in its blossom, despair in its seeding,
        3.20     But daylong your bosom now nurseth its treasure.

IV
          4.1Love is enough: draw near and behold me
          4.2     Ye who pass by the way to your rest and your laughter,
          4.3     And are full of the hope of the dawn coming after;
          4.4For the strong of the world have bought me and sold me
          4.5     And my house is all wasted from threshold to rafter.
          4.6          --Pass by me, and hearken, and think of me not!

          4.7Cry out and come near; for my ears may not hearken,
          4.8     And my eyes are grown dim as the eyes of the dying.
          4.9     Is this the grey rack o'er the sun's face a-flying?
        4.10Or is it your faces his brightness that darken?
        4.11     Comes a wind from the sea, or is it your sighing?
        4.12          --Pass by me and hearken, and pity me not!

        4.13Ye know not how void is your hope and your living:
        4.14     Depart with your helping lest yet ye undo me!
        4.15     Ye know not that at nightfall she draweth near to me,
        4.16There is soft speech between us and words of forgiving
        4.17     Till in dead of the midnight her kisses thrill through me.
        4.18          --Pass by me and harken, and waken me not!

        4.19Wherewith will ye buy it, ye rich who behold me?
        4.20     Draw out from your coffers your rest and your laughter,
        4.21     And the fair gilded hope of the dawn coming after!
        4.22Nay this I sell not,--though ye bought me and sold me,--
        4.23For your house stored with such things from threshold to rafter.
        4.24          --Pass by me, I hearken, and think of you not!

V
          5.1Love is enough: through the trouble and tangle
          5.2     From yesterday's dawning to yesterday's night
          5.3I sought through the vales where the prisoned winds wrangle,
          5.4     Till, wearied and bleeding, at end of the light
          5.5     I met him, and we wrestled, and great was my might.

          5.6O great was my joy, though no rest was around me,
          5.7     Though mid wastes of the world were we twain all alone,
          5.8For methought that I conquered and he knelt and he crowned me,
          5.9     And the driving rain ceased, and the wind ceased to moan,
        5.10     And through clefts of the clouds her planet outshone.

        5.11O through clefts of the clouds 'gan the world to awaken,
        5.12     And the bitter wind piped, and down drifted the rain,
        5.13And I was alone--and yet not forsaken,
        5.14     For the grass was untrodden except by my pain:
        5.15     With a Shadow of the Night had I wrestled in vain.

        5.16And the Shadow of the Night and not Love was departed;
        5.17     I was sore, I was weary, yet Love lived to seek;
        5.18So I scaled the dark mountains, and wandered sad-hearted
        5.19     Over wearier wastes, where e'en sunlight was bleak,
        5.20     With no rest of the night for my soul waxen weak.

        5.21With no rest of the night; for I waked mid a story
        5.22     Of a land wherein Love is the light and the lord,
        5.23Where my tale shall be heard, and my wounds gain a glory,
        5.24     And my tears be a treasure to add to the hoard
        5.25     Of pleasure laid up for his people's reward.

        5.26Ah, pleasure laid up! Haste then onward and listen,
        5.27     For the wind of the waste has no music like this,
        5.28And not thus do the rocks of the wilderness glisten:
        5.29     With the host of his faithful through sorrow and bliss
        5.30     My Lord goeth forth now, and knows me for his.

VI
          6.1Love is enough: cherish life that abideth,
          6.2     Lest ye die ere ye know him, and curse and misname him;
          6.3For who knows in what ruin of all hope he hideth,
          6.4     On what wings of the terror of darkness he rideth?
          6.5     And what is the joy of man's life that ye blame him
          6.6          For his bliss grown a sword, and his rest grown a fire?

          6.7Ye who tremble for death, or the death of desire,
          6.8     Pass about the cold winter-tide garden and ponder
          6.9On the rose in his glory amidst of June's fire,
        6.10     On the languor of noontide that gathered the thunder,
        6.11     On the morn and its freshness, the eve and its wonder:
        6.12          Ye may make it no more--shall Spring come to awaken?

        6.13Live on, for Love liveth, and earth shall be shaken
        6.14     By the wind of his wings on the triumphing morning,
        6.15When the dead, and their deeds that die not shall awaken,
        6.16     And the world's tale shall sound in your trumpet of warning,
        6.17     And the sun smite the banner called Scorn of the Scorning,
        6.18          And dead pain ye shall trample, dead fruitless desire,
        6.19          As ye wend to pluck out the new world from the fire.

VII
          7.1     Dawn talks to Day
          7.2          Over dew-gleaming flowers,
          7.3     Night flies away
          7.4          Till the resting of hours:
          7.5     Fresh are thy feet
          7.6          And with dreams thine eyes glistening,
          7.7     Thy still lips are sweet
          7.8          Though the world is a-listening.
          7.9O Love, set a word in my mouth for our meeting,
        7.10Cast thine arms round about me to stay my heart's beating!
        7.11     O fresh day, O fair day, O long day made ours!

...

        7.12     Morn shall meet noon
        7.13          While the flower-stems yet move,
        7.14     Though the wind dieth soon
        7.15          And the clouds fade above.
        7.16     Loved lips are thine
        7.17          As I tremble and hearken;
        7.18     Bright thine eyes shine,
        7.19          Though the leaves thy brow darken.
        7.20O Love, kiss me into silence, lest no word avail me,
        7.21Stay my head with thy bosom lest breath and life fail me!
        7.22          O sweet day, O rich day, made long for our love!

        7.23     Late day shall greet eve,
        7.24          And the full blossoms shake,
        7.25     For the wind will not leave
        7.26          The tall trees while they wake.
        7.27     Eyes soft with bliss,
        7.28          Come nigher and nigher!
        7.29     Sweet mouth I kiss,
        7.30          Tell me all thy desire!
        7.31Let us speak, love, together some words of our story,
        7.32That our lips as they part may remember the glory!
        7.33          O soft day, O calm day, made clear for our sake!

        7.34     Eve shall kiss night,
        7.35          And the leaves stir like rain
        7.36     As the wind stealeth light
        7.37          O'er the grass of the plain.
        7.38     Unseen are thine eyes
        7.39          Mid the dreamy night's sleeping,
        7.40     And on my mouth there lies
        7.41          The dear rain of thy weeping.
        7.42Hold silence, love, speak not of the sweet day departed,
        7.43Cling close to me, love, lest I waken sad-hearted!
        7.44          O kind day, O dear day, short day, come again!

VIII
          8.1Love is enough: while ye deemed him a-sleeping,
          8.2     There were signs of his coming and sounds of his feet;
          8.3His touch it was that would bring you to weeping,
          8.4     When the summer was deepest and music most sweet:
          8.5          In his footsteps ye followed the day to its dying,
          8.6     Ye went forth by his gown-skirts the morning to meet:
          8.7          In his place on the beaten-down orchard-grass lying,
          8.8          Of the sweet ways ye pondered left for life's trying.

          8.9Ah, what was all dreaming of pleasure anear you,
        8.10     To the time when his eyes on your wistful eyes turned,
        8.11And ye saw his lips move, and his head bent to hear you,
        8.12     As new-born and glad to his kindness ye yearned?
        8.13          Ah, what was all dreaming of anguish and sorrow,
        8.14     To the time when the world in his torment was burned,
        8.15          And no god your heart from its prison might borrow,
        8.16          And no rest was left, no today, no tomorrow?

        8.17All wonder of pleasure, all doubt of desire,
        8.18     All blindness, are ended, and no more ye feel
        8.19If your feet treat his flowers or the flames of his fire,
        8.20     If your breast meet his balms or the edge of his steel.
        8.21          Change is come, and past over, no more strife, no more learning:
        8.22     Now your lips and your forehead are sealed with his seal,
        8.23          Look backward and smile at the thorns and the burning.
        8.24          --Sweet rest, O my soul, and no fear of returning!

IX
          9.1Love is enough: ho ye who seek saving,
          9.2     Go no further; come hither; there have been who have found it,
          9.3And these know the House of Fulfilment of Craving;
          9.4     These know the Cup with the roses around it;
          9.5     These know the World's Wound and the balm that hath bound it:
          9.6Cry out, the World heedeth not, 'Love, lead us home!'

          9.7He leadeth, He hearkeneth, He cometh to you-ward;
          9.8     Set your faces as steel to the fears that assemble
          9.9Round his goad for the faint, and his scourge for the froward,
        9.10     Lo his lips, how with tales of last kisses they tremble!
        9.11     Lo his eyes of all sorrow that may not dissemble!
        9.12Cry out, for he heedeth, 'O Love, lead us home!'

        9.13O hearken the words of his voice of compassion:
        9.14     'Come cling round about me, ye faithful who sicken
        9.15Of the weary unrest and the world's passing fashions!
        9.16     As the rain in mid-morning your troubles shall thicken,
        9.17     But surely within you some Godhead doth quicken,
        9.18As ye cry to me heeding, and leading you home.

        9.19'Come--pain ye shall have, and be blind to the ending!
        9.20     Come--fear ye shall have, mid the sky's overcasting!
        9.21Come--change ye shall have, for far are ye wending!
        9.22     Come--no crown ye shall have for your thirst and your fasting,
        9.23     But the kissed lips of Love and fair life everlasting!
        9.24Cry out, for one heedeth, who leadeth you home!'

        9.25Is he gone? was he with us?--ho ye who seek saving,
        9.26     Go no further; come hither; for have we not found it?
        9.27Here is the House of Fulfilment of Craving;
        9.28     Here is the Cup with the roses around it;
        9.29     The World's Wound well healed, and the balm that hath bound it:
        9.30Cry out! for he heedeth, fair Love that led home.

Notes

1.1] The songs were included in Love Is Enough, "a sort of masque," published in 1872.

4.9] rack: mass of cloud, driven before the wind in the upper air.

7.1] This lyric is interspersed with a dialogue between Love and King Pharamond.


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: William Morris, Love is Enough; or, The Freeing of Pharamond, a morality (London: Ellis and White, 1873). morris M677 L68 1873 Fisher Rare Books
First publication date: 1872
RPO poem editor: P. F. Morgan
RP edition: 3RP 3.353.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/10

Rhyme: aabccbccb (1); ababb (2, 3, 5); abbabc (4); abaabc cdcdde efeffcc (6); ababcdcdeeb (7); ababcbcc (8); ababbc (9)


Other poems by William Morris