Poetry of Kansas

The Over-Gift.

Love hath his times and seasons,
      And why need one complain?
With manifold fair reasons,
Sweet kisses and keen treasons,
      He mingles joy with pain;
      So why need one complain?
We found young love a-crying,
      And wanner than white death;
We caught him up half dying,
And in our four arms lying,
      We fed him on our breath
      And kissed him out of death.
We chafed his body's pallor
      To nimble white and red;
We cleansed his raiment's squalor,
Our hot lips woke blood's valor,
      From chilly foot to head,
      In swift fierce heats of red.

We nursed him on lip-honey,
      And housed him in our breasts;
Through lowering days and sunny
He paid us in Love's money,
      And took his happy rests
      In our unresting breasts.
But when his strength was greater,
      He pined for riper fare;
His eyes got fierce, and, later,
He grew a youngling satyr,
      In all his eager air,
      From overmuch sweet fare.
He spoiled our springing garden
      Of its green-growing fruit;
Repulsed the weeping warden,
Despised our ready pardon,
      And with rude hand and foot
      Destroyed our tender fruit.
Rich wines and fiery spices,
      Gold honey from the hive,
The melon's lush cool slices__
Whatever most entices__
      Our eager hands did give
      And his hot hands receive.
But all our lavish giving
      Our need cut short one day;
Our best, last gift receiving,
He Spread his young wings, grieving,
      And then flew quite away,
      Nor came back any day.
Time kinder is than cruel,
      And we cannot complain.
Love's torch's scanty fuel,
Burnt dead without renewal,
      Brings us deservèd pain,
      And we cannot complain.

__Don Lloyd Wyman

Kansas In Literature__Part I. Poetry
Introduction by William Herbert Carruth
(Topeka: Crane & Co. 1900)
Pages 49-51

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September 21, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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