"In the Early, Pearly Morning":

by Laurence Hope

Adela Florence Nicolson

Song by Valgovind
The fields are full of Poppies, and the skies are very blue,
By the Temple in the coppice, I wait, Beloved, for you.
The level land is sunny, and the errant air is gay,
With scent of rose and honey; will you come to me to-day?
From carven walls above me, smile lovers; many a pair.
"Oh, take this rose and love me!" she has twined it in her hair.
He advances, she retreating, pursues and holds her fast,
The sculptor left them meeting, in a close embrace at last.
Through centuries together, in the carven stone they lie,
In the glow of golden weather, and endless azure sky.
Oh, that we, who have for pleasure so short and scant a stay,
Should waste our summer leisure; will you come to me to-day?
The Temple bells are ringing, for the marriage month has come.
I hear the women singing, and the throbbing of the drum.
And when the song is failing, or the drums a moment mute,
The weirdly wistful wailing of the melancholy flute.
Little life has got to offer, and little man to lose,
Since to-day Fate deigns to proffer, Oh wherefore, then, refuse
To take this transient hour, in the dusky Temple gloom
While the poppies are in flower, and the mangoe trees abloom.
And if Fate remember later, and come to claim her due,
What sorrow will be greater than the Joy I had with you?
For to-day, lit by your laughter, between the crushing years,
I will chance, in the hereafter, eternities of tears.

Last updated January 14, 2019