These are the days of our youth, our days of glory and honour.
Pleasure begotten of strength is ours, the sword in our hand.
Wisdom bends to our will, we lead captivity captive,
Kings of our lives and love, receiving gifts from men.
Why do I speak of wisdom? The prize is not for the wisest.
Reason, the dull ox, ploughs a soil which no joy shall reap.
Folly is fleeter far 'neath the heel of the fearless rider,
Folly the bare--backed steed we bestride, the steed of the plains.
Mine is a lofty ambition, as wide as the world I covet.
Vast is the empire I claim for thee, thou spouse of my soul.
Show me new lands to win, and, by God in heaven, I swear it:
These shall be mine and thine to--night for all time to hold.
Time is our slave and Fortune's. We need not years for fruition.
Here in our hands behold a key which unlocks the world.
Each new day is a life. For us there is no to--morrow.
Love no yesterday knows nor we, but to--day is ours.
See, what a wealth I bring thee, what treasure of myrrh and spices!
Every kingdom of Earth have I sacked to procure thee gold.
All the knowledge that fools have learned at the feet of women,
All that the wise have been taught in tears for thy sake I know.
Give thyself up to Love. There is naught divine but madness.
Give thyself up to me Love's priest in his inmost shrine.
Shut thy eyes on the world, sublime in thy abnegation.
Only the wise who have bowed their will shall receive the prize.
Shut thy eyes on the light. I have nobler dreams to read thee,
Here in the shades of this darkened room, than the sun can show.
Is there not light in my eyes to--night more light than the dreamlight?
See it breaks in streams on thy face; it illumes thy soul.
Let me persuade thy weakness. I sue thee here with my reason.
Let me convince thee of love with my lips till thou cease to think.
Let me enfold thee with words more sweet than the prayers of angels,
Speaking thus with my hand on thy heart till it cease to beat.
Let me assuage thy grief with laughter, thy fear with kisses.
Let me cajole thy doubts with surprise, thy pride with tears.
Let me outshame the shame of thy face, outblush thy blushes.
Let me teach thee what Love can dare and yet dream no shame.
Let me uncover thy bosom and prove to thee its glory.
Let me preach to thee of thyself the live night long.
Let me chaunt new hymns to thy praise as I kneel and worship,
Rising still like a god from my knees from eve till morn.
Let me discourse of love with my hands and lips and bosom.
Let me explain with my limbs the joy that a soul can feel.
Let me unveil to thy bodily sense thy god incarnate
Taking flesh in a visible form for thy body's need.
Lo, on the mount of Love, the holiest place of holies,
Incense and prayer and the people's shout and the fires have risen.
Love descends on the feast. He mounts the pyre in silence,
Victim and priest and god in one, to thy dreams revealed.
There, the rite is accomplished. Whatever Love knows thou knowest.
Sudden the victim staggers and falls. In the dust it lies.
See the hot blood flows for thy sake, it o'erflows the altar.
Dost thou not feel it stream in thy veins? It still lives in thee.
These are the days of our youth, the days of our dominion.
All the rest is a dream of death and a doubtful thing.
Here we at least have lived, for love is all life's wisdom,
Joy of joys for an hour to--day; then away, farewell!
Wilfrid Scawen Blunt