When I have ceased to break my wings
Against the faultiness of things,
And learned that compromises wait
Behind each hardly opened gate,
When I have looked Life in the eyes,
Grown calm and very coldly wise,
And taken in exchange--my youth.
I went looking for this poem by Sara Teasdale, to try to express a truth about the loss of innocence when we gain - finally - a realistic view of life.
In the process I found all the poems of my youth amongst Teasdale's Love Poems.
The Beloved, the words of which have always spoken to me of the endearing qualities that Husband brought to my life.
It is enough of honor for one lifetime
LIFE has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children's faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup.
Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pinetrees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit's still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.
Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be. Sara Teasdale
For a while I was caught between April and October, remembering the romance of the youthful years, - the eternal optimism, - the wonderful careless acceptance of the vitality and brightness of life.
But eventually I turned again to the mellow months, - and the poems that express the mix of somber acceptance of reality, and the splendid colours of the dying season.
UNTIL I lose my soul and lie
Blind to the beauty of the earth,
Deaf though shouting wind goes by,
Dumb in a storm of mirth;
Until my heart is quenched at length
And I have left the land of men,
Oh, let me love with all my strength
Careless if I am loved again. Sara Teasdale
This is the spot where I will lie
When life has had enough of me,
These are the grasses that will blow
Above me like a living sea.
These gay old lilies will not shrink
To draw their life from death of mine,
And I will give my body's fire
To make blue flowers on this vine.
"O Soul," I said, "have you no tears?
Was not the body dear to you?"
"The myrtle flowers will grow more blue." Sara Teasdale