L'Envoi: The Mirror of Romance

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L'Envoi: The Mirror of Romance

by: Ernest Rhys (Author)

I know this Irish wind, by every cry,
    Three years ago, it cried on Garadice,
Waving green boughs to us as we sailed by
    And looked to see the lawns of Paradise
         Deep in mid-lake: but only met the eyes
             Of our twin-selves, that saw mysteriously
In our blown boat and blowing wind far more than we could see.

Had we known, then, all our twin-creatures there
    Knew,—known all our imminent boat bore on,
Balanced upon the flood and flowing air—
    We must have turned, afraid as we wore on,
         Fearing the course that wild wind had foregone:
              We did not know, as we sailed, gazing down,
And only saw your eyes gaze up, your eager hair wind-blown?

This day the wind may blow as it did then;
    But I am older; you are altered too,
A change not felt by mighty winds, but men
    And women, who have loved and faltered too
         Looking for heav'n, to find as they must do
              Only themselves, their souls and their own day,
Mirrored in waters of romance, a thousand years away.

In those dire years, day after day, when dread
    Stood at the door, you know how dreading still
Worse days to come, I looked at life, then read,
    In books of old romance, and reading still
         Of Caerleon town, Sarras and Merlin's Hill,
             I drew from Arthur's wound a dreadful spear,
And saw your sad eyes find themselves in those of Gwenevere.

And all that know To-day in Yesterday,
    And know men's masks may change,—but never men
Will find the heart beat fast here in each lay,
    Of them that loved, and lived forever then,
         Twin-souls that look with our own eyes again
              Out of the water of that faerie lake,
That mirrors earth and heav'n-on-earth for love and human sake.