Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream!
Sur le pont d'Avignon, on y chante, on y chante!
Sara out cycling as a little girl!
Published in Pinky's Little Book of Shadows*.
Hang out the chimes that turn the wind to song,
when lavandula's breath perfumes the air;
let summer's note sound, lyrical and long,
let pidgeons croon, while all is light and fair.
Ring in the heaven-scented August balm,
lest it should slip too silently away,
let breeze-blown willows whisper in the calm,
warm, honeyed breeze, as blue vanquishes grey.
Ring in the starling's chattering refrain,
ring in the distant sounding of the sea.
Such rhapsody may never come again,
nor summer's song impart such majesty.
Come then, while yet the days are warm and long;
hang out the chimes that turn the wind to song.
© by Sara L. Russell, 1998, 2001
Frontispiece, William Shakespeare's
Venus and Adonis. 1593
LOVE AND LOVE'S LABOUR LOST
A TRIBUTE TO SHAKESPEARE
Venus, to Adonis
Sweet milk-white youth, who standeth idly by
With love's entreaties thrown down at thy feet;
At once both irresistible and shy.
Jasmine and rose petals were not so sweet
As these twin trembling petals of thy lips,
Or this, the milk-white pallor of thy cheek.
As roses bloom, as yet the queen bee sips,
So shall I taste what moves me thus to speak!
The sun hath spun the fine locks of thy hair,
Whose tresses frame thy face with wings of gold.
Come, let me kiss that little frown of care
And let me dare to bid this bloom unfold.
O love incarnate! Yield thy mystery!
Surrender thy exquisite kiss to me!
© Sara L. Russell, May, 2001
John William Waterhouse.
Adonis, to Venus
Thou slavering woman of unholy haste,
Consent to lick my calves like hunting dogs;
Here no lamb cowers beneath the aery waste
of cloud and rushing air past peaty bogs;
No hawkish pinions drawn to dive upon
the hapless victim creature underneath
with striking claw, beak rending, sharp talon
Paint with too sanguine hue, the blasted heath.
Thy breast too froward for a young man's need
Thy hair less lovely than a hound's fair coat
Thy hip too pressing on my thews, you dote
on that which loves free passage on his steed
Thy flesh is soft and plump, thy marrow burn:
Despair my kiss, my lips conspire to spurn.
© Brian Whatcott, January 2002