(Response to Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress”)
If time fell shy of a normal passing,
I would wish for love’s long everlasting.
We would sit and watch a twilight unfold,
Or love’s beginning, unsullied, unsold.
You, sweet Lysander to my heart, I would
Hold till the tide of eternity should
Sweep us to our flower-strewn place of rest.
Thus, you would attend my request.
But, as steadfast Ananke insists, the
Sun adheres to time’s continuity.
All around us lay, a love perverted-
A civilized disorder converted
From love’s long-forgotten propriety.
You, Henry, are prey to society.
Your carnality lacks comparison
To the stainless virtue of a true nun.
Now I, consequently, must say you nay.
So turn away from these foundering ways.
And heed that time stands still in the darkness,
Where fire’s eternal light glistens no less
Than that of love’s resplendent unveiling.
Hold fast to abstention without failing,
For without a sense of sobriety
You may never fathom my piety.