A shadow of a man once dwelled
who in life’s dusty bookshelf
could his only solace be found.
Stories of love and legend, read he,
unlikely by far, thought he,
impervious to love’s fickle charmes, was he.
For what was love but petty selfishness,
wilfully fermented to yield a liquor
which made heads spin?
The years grew older, and as they passed
He met the very aire that gave him life,
the missing limb and part of his person.
A gleam of understanding touched his heart,
a new depth of vision and perception of things human,
a new appreciation of life’s devices and cruel moods.
For life is cruel indeed, and the lover’s brief existence
is bereft with pain and all things evil,
conspired against by universal forces.
The fair creature was out of his grasp,
sceptical of love and pernicious to his essence,
his heart’s unfulfilled desire.
Inside his very person a heartstring snapped
with every tender gaze in her direction,
and he longed for purpose.
Down the vicious slope of love he slipped,
unable to resist its endless beckonings,
impervious no longer.
His ailing health was the price for his
selfish desire, a melting pot of emotion
which grew ever more leaden.
For what could he do? Nothing,
nothing but grimace at the sun
and grin at the night’s domain.
‘Twas a lonesome night upon which
a washerwoman ‘Murder!’ cried as
she ran through the streets for help.
‘This young lad, murdered has been,
murdered by a vicious thing,
which knows only death.’
‘Murder’d by love, his heart devour’d,
overwhelmed by things of love born,
his heart and mind torn.’
His spirit wandered the mortal plaines,
seeking his lost love as she
soon forgot his adoring glance in her direction.
A lover’s life has no happy ending,
fraught with a lover’s hopes and wishes,
rarely obliged but always present.
This occur to him did not, a wandering thing
free from all aspects of mortality but one,
the strongest of them all.
The dead feel no pain, it is said,
but the exquisite pain of heartbreak
remains vigilant in its uniqueness.
The pain of love unique truly is,
a pain born of bliss and inflicted
through the happiness it gives.
A shadow of a man he was once more,
cast down by that which helped him see
and doomed to lie on the doorstep of his heart’s desire.
Peace would not come, and neither would release
as his heart beat for his love even though
beat it could not.