Love at the lips was touch As sweet as I could bear; And once that seemed too much; I lived on air That crossed me from sweet things, The flow of- was it musk From hidden grapevine springs Down hill at dusk?
I had the swirl and ache From sprays of honeysuckle That when they're gathered shake Dew on the knuckle.
I craved strong sweets, but those Seemed strong when I was young; The petal of the rose It was that stung.
Now no joy but lacks salt That is not dashed with pain And weariness and fault; I crave the stain
Of tears, the aftermark Of almost too much love, The sweet of bitter bark And burning clove.
When stiff and sore and scarred I take away my hand From leaning on it hard In grass and sand,
The hurt is not enough: I long for weight and strength To feel the earth as rough To all my length.