Farewell to Cytherea
Cytherea, too long have you betrayed,
By subtle magic, merely mortal eyes,
And touched the passing of a simple maid
With sweet but most bewildering surprise.
Out of the beauty of trim ships at sea
You fashion girls that through green meadows run;
And blowing branches of a willow tree
Turn Joan, drying her long hair in the sun.
You have been near when I went out to meet
A lass whom I shall never woo to bed;
For, though there was but earth beneath her feet,
She walked, somehow, with stars about her head.
Cytherea, I tender my farewell
Before the wine you pour becomes too strong,
Throwing upon my sense a misty spell
That leaves me fuddled in a world of song.
These pagan trinkets which were dear to you
I bring in tribute to your childlike graces:
Red beads; bright silken ribbons; ties of blue;
A rosy garland of remembered faces;
Great moons; the smell of April in the air;
A far-off lilt of music through the night;
And happy voices calling here and there.
These, Cytherea, take before my flight.