It is a hard reminder. (Oh, alas! alack!)
A single year has not yet passed since we first met,
And I am deep in love with her, and she with me,
A draught of mutual love—Yet here, on this the day
That, scarce few years ago, she drew her natal breath,
Our new awareness ever thrusts upon me that
(As Merlin spoke to warn us) such must not yet be,
Lest we tempt fate, to Llogres’ death or detriment.
This day, above all others (if I were my own!)
My instinct is to give her all I have and more,
Mere trifles, only, all for her who holds my heart—
But with what I and Merlin see, I must hold back.
All that I dare is one chaste kiss upon her hand
And such small, trivial gifts as I routinely give
To any other of her station in the court.
I hold aloof, and my heart breaks. She that I love
I may not yet love for many a year to come—
And she, and I, on Merlin’s word agreed to this.
But still I am not fit for this. She’s my first love,
And I will ever hold her fondly in my heart,
Reserving there a place apart for her sole use,
Come what may.
I wrote this several years ago. It’s one of the later ones in my series of Arthurian poems, probably dating to around the time that I did a mass reorganization (since this poem existed in identical form in my “old” and “new” directories). I revised it—recasting it from hesitant free verse to a regular, fairly steady meter, and breaking it into (verse) paragraphs—in preparation for posting today.
As always, I earnestly welcome your (further) comments, suggestions, questions, critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. (In other words, if you liked this poem, or you didn’t like it, or it made you think of something, or … please leave a comment to let me know.) If you liked this, you can follow this blog, which includes one of my poems every Friday, or read other poems I’ve written here on my blog (starting with yesterday’s archive installment, since the full archive is by now, at well over a hundred poems, somewhat daunting); I’d especially like to know, as part of my preparations for a collection, which poems you think are my best. You may also share this poem with others, subject to my sharing policy.
This poem is also mirrored on my wiki.