The Gardens Of Adonis
by Richard Le Gallienne
Belovèd, I would tell a ghostly thing
That hides beneath the simple name of Spring;
Wild beyond hope the news – the dead return,
The shapes that slept, their breath a frozen mist,
Ascend from out sarcophagus and urn,
Lips that were dust new redden to be kissed,
Fires that were quenched re-burn.
The gardens of Adonis bloom again,
Proserpina may hold the lad no more,
That in her arms the winter through hath lain;
Up flings he from the hollow-sounding door,
Where Love hath bruised her rosy breast in vain:
Ah! through their tears – the happy April rain –
They, like two stars aflame, together run,
Then lift immortal faces in the sun.
A faint far music steals from underground,
And to the spirit’s ear there comes the sound,
The whisper vague, and rustle delicate,
Of myriad atoms stirring in their trance
That for the lifted hand of Order wait,
Taking their stations in the cosmic dance,
Mate linked to mystic mate.
And perished shapes rebuild themselves anew,
Nourished on essences of fire and dew,
And in earth’s cheek, but now so wistful wan,
The colour floods, and from deep wells of power
Rises the sap of resurrection;
The dead branch buds, the dry staff breaks in flower,
The grass comes surging on.
These ghostly things that in November died,
How come they thus again adream with pride?
I saw the Red Rose lying in her tomb,
Yet comes she lovelier back, a redder rose;
What paints upon her cheek this vampire bloom?
Belovéd, when to the dark thy beauty goes,
Thee too will Spring re-lume?
Verily, nothing dies; a brief eclipse
Is all; and this blessed union of our lips
Shall bind us still though we have lips no more:
For as the Rose and as the gods are we,
Returning ever; but the shapes we wore
Shall have some look of immortality
More shining than before.
Make we our offerings at Adonis’ shrine,
For this is Love’s own resurrection day,
Bring we the honeyed cakes, the sacred wine,
And myrtle garlands on his altars lay:
O Thou, beloved alike of Proserpine
And Aphrodite, to our prayers incline;
Be thou propitious to this love of ours,
And we, the summer long, shall bring thee flowers.
† Short Stories