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Amy Levy

A lover may be a shadowy creature, but husbands are made of flesh and blood.

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We are no more content to plod along the beaten paths - and so marriage must go the way of God.

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In September

The sky is silver-grey; the long
Slow waves caress the shore.--
On such a day as this I have been glad,
Who shall be glad no more.

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Youth and Love

What does youth know of love?
Little enough, I trow!
He plucks the myrtle for his brow,
For his forehead the rose.
Nay, but of love
It is not youth who knows.

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At Dawn

In the night I dreamed of you;
All the place was filled
With your presence; in my heart
The strife was stilled.

All night I have dreamed of you;
Now the morn is grey.--
How shall I arise and face
The empty day?

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Oh, Is It Love?

O is it Love or is it Fame,
This thing for which I sigh?
Or has it then no earthly name
For men to call it by?

I know not what can ease my pains,
Nor what it is I wish;
The passion at my heart-strings strains
Like a tiger in a leash.

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In the Mile End Road

How like her! But 'tis she herself,
Comes up the crowded street,
How little did I think, the morn,
My only love to meet!

Whose else that motion and that mien?
Whose else that airy tread?
For one strange moment I forgot
My only love was dead.

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Impotens

If I were a woman of old,
What prayers I would pray for you, dear;
My pitiful tribute behold--
Not a prayer, but a tear.

The pitiless order of things,
Whose laws we may change not nor break,
Alone I could face it--it wrings
My heart for your sake.

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To Death

(From Lenau.)


If within my heart there's mould,
If the flame of Poesy
And the flame of Love grow cold,
Slay my body utterly.

Swiftly, pause not nor delay;
Let not my life's field be spread
With the ash of feelings dead,
Let thy singer soar away.

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In the Nower

To J. De P.


Deep in the grass outstretched I lie,
Motionless on the hill;
Above me is a cloudless sky,
Around me all is still:

There is no breath, no sound, no stir,
The drowsy peace to break:
I close my tired eyes--it were
So simple not to wake.

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