Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, VARIATIONS: 11, by CONRAD AIKEN

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

VARIATIONS: 11, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: This night I dreamed that you shone before me
Last Line: And now I have lost you.
Subject(s): Dreams; Nightmares

This night I dreamed that you shone before me
Colder and paler than rose-flushed marble,
With dark hair fallen across your shoulders
And face half hidden,

And in that darkness I went before you
And turned my eyes from your beauty quickly:
I turned away from your too great beauty,
I fled before you.

Now I remember how in that shadow
You started to smile, your dark eyes kindled,
Your face grew light with a word unspoken;
Then, had I waited,

I should have learned . . . what moonlight secret?
What whisper of temples, and hills of cypress?
What echo of singing and far-off cymbals, --
Gleam of the goddess?

But I, grown base in fear of denial,
Though all my blood stood still for your beauty,
I turned in silence away from your kindness;
And now I have lost you.

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