Love in Dreams

ophelia millais.jpg

Love hath its poppy-wreath,
Not Night alone.
I laid my head beneath
Love’s lilied throne:
Then to my sleep he brought
This anodyne –
The flower of many a thought
And fancy fine:
A form; a face, no more;
Fairer than truth;
A dream from death’s pale shore;
The soul of youth:
A dream so dear, so deep,
All dreams above,
That still I pray to sleep –
Bring Love back, Love!

John Addington Symonds (1840-93), Love in Dreams


Sunstruck Foxglove

As you bend to touch
The gypsy girl
Who waits for you in the hedge
Her loose dress falls open.

Midsummer ditch-sickness!

Flushed, freckled with earth-fever,
Swollen lips parted, her eyes closing,
A lolling armful, and so young! Hot
Among the insane spiders.
You glimpse the reptile under-speckle
Of her sunburned breasts
And your head swims. You close your eyes.

Can the foxes talk? Your head throbs.
Remember the bird’s tolling echo,
The dripping fern-roots, and the butterfly touches
That woke you.

Remember your mother’s
Long, dark dugs.

Her silky body a soft oven
For loaves of pollen.

– Ted Hughes (1930-98), Sunstruck Foxglove