Throughout, within, the night’s surrounding warm,
Distraught of daylight’s merciless advance:
One hand to touch, though trembling, my arm;
One smile’s joy, one smile’s graceful dance;
One kiss sustains, one kiss throughout the night;
One touch through daylight’s cruel and bitter sting;
One tear, upon one cheek, what solace might
It bring, that touch and smile and kiss would sing?
What voice? What dulcet tone, such golden song
Should sing? What arm to lay me down to sleep?
What sweet surround my head to hold? So long
A Night I need–and warm–a bed to keep
Me safe, perhaps, if substance I may bring;
And heal–perhaps, or not–if love I sing.
This sonnet is part of a short sequence; click here to read it all:
By any song thou dost sing, my dearest one.
To heal, to rest, or to fret the tyme away
Only thus, that thou shouldst hold fast
And defy the daylight.
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