“Your smile, too rare”

On Fridays I post my poetry, until my archive runs out.

Your smile — too rare — today broke through the clouds
And lightened each black inch of dreary ground
Within my darkened, miserable soul.
Oh, that you’d smile on me again, fair friend!
For all the day your absence is to me
Like a dark storm of woe hanging above me,
And these bleak rainclouds are too thick for me
And drop their baggage on me all the day;
The time of happiness I have with you
Is summer’s brightness in a moment’s space.

But when you’ve gone your separate way, it seems
“I sit, I sigh, I weep, I faint, I die
In deadly pain and endless misery,”
As Dowland wrote — but yet somehow I live,
And only thoughts of you keep me from woe.
Hyperbole aside, your harsh absence
Plunges my spirit into black despair,
Which friends as torches may slightly lighten,
But you alone can change from night to day.

I probably wrote this my sophomore year of college, but while preparing to post it here I substantially revised a few lines that didn’t sound right. The quotation is from John Dowland’s song “Come again, sweet Love doth now invite,” a rather catchy song, though (I have since realized) afflicted by the unhelpful tendencies typical of the era. As always, I welcome your comments, critique, suggestions, or any other feedback on this poem or any other part of my work.

(Cross-posted to my wiki.)


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