Thursday, February 13, 2014

Edwin Muir: "In Love for Long"

I’ve been in love for long
With what I cannot tell
And will contrive a song
For the intangible
That has no mold or shape,
From which there’s no escape.

It is not even a name,
Yet is all constancy;
Tried or untried, the same,
It cannot part from me;
A breath, yet as still
As the established hill.

It is not any thing,
And yet all being is;
Being, being, being,
Its burden and its bliss.
How can I ever prove
What it is I love?

This happy happy love
Is sieged with crying sorrows,
Crushed beneath and above
Between todays and morrows;
A little paradise
Held in the world’s vice.

And there it is content
And careless as a child,
And in imprisonment
Flourishes sweet and wild;
In wrong, beyond wrong,
All the world’s day long.

This love a moment known
For what I do not know
And in a moment gone
Is like the happy doe
That keeps its perfect laws
Between the tiger’s paws
And vindicates its cause.

"In Love for Long" by Edwin Muir, from The Voyage and Other Poems. © Faber, 1946.

Image credit: "Abundant Joy," acrylic on canvas, by Nancy Eckels (originally color).

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