Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A PROPOSAL, by CHARLES V. H. ROBERTS



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A PROPOSAL, by            
First Line: Beloved, I love thee! With such words / wouldst thou
Last Line: In life, in love, in soul, unto eternity!
Subject(s): Future Life; Love - Beginnings; Passion; Retribution; Eternity; After Life


Beloved, I love thee! With such words wouldst thou
Have further pleading? Thou canst o'erhear the beating
Of my heart. Take it, and give me in
Exchange thy soul! The unexpected movings
Of our lives should henceforth be together.
Be my wedded wife: put in my arms
What Fate decreed mine own,—calm days of peace,
And sweetest ecstasies, one heart, one honour.
Death through cycles in one day elapse;
Through centuries our souls together soar away.

Yet it seems, Beloved, we've loved before:
Oh! canst thou not remember—a sort of palace
Casement, nine hundred and a thousand years
Ago? The little hill of Calvary loomed
Three crosses 'gainst the sky. Perhaps we met,
Even when the Spirit of God breathed life
Into a planet, and the moon first dimmed
In cold tranquility the day, the wild stars
Later bathed the blacker harmony of night.

Canst thou feel the memoried ache of my
Embraces—perhaps some Prince of Egypt I,
Like those strange men portrayed in histories,
Or in the pictures hanging here upon the wall?
Thou sat upon a stately bed, thy jewels
A-shiver as pearls upon the shallow
Reefs beneath the glitter of the rising sun.

We might recall old Socrates, wisdom,
Joy and pleasure, aeons drunk with Eastern
Passion, pompous temples, doors of beaten gold,
An Alexandrian sky blinking with a million eyes.
Ah! even in that day, thy spirit hungered;
But all without the everlasting Bread of Life.

But whether or no, thou didst caress the kings
Of distant stars, before this Earth was moulded
Into Space; or thou wert cherished by
A Babylon prince in the derision of
A heathen dawn, I know now, that thou art mine!
In life, in love, in soul, unto Eternity!





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