Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  Indian Love-Song

Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Edward Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st earl of Lytton 1831–91

Indian Love-Song


MY body sleeps: my heart awakes.

My lips to breathe thy name are mov’d

In slumber’s ear: then slumber breaks;

And I am drawn to thee, belov’d.

Thou drawest me, thou drawest me,

Through sleep, through night. I hear the rills,

And hear the leopard in the hills,

And down the dark I feel to thee.

The vineyards and the villages

Were silent in the vales, the rocks;

I follow’d past the myrrhy trees,

And by the footsteps of the flocks.

Wild honey, dropp’d from stone to stone,

Where bees have been, my path suggests.

The winds are in the eagles’ nests.

The moon is hid. I walk alone.

Thou drawest me, thou drawest me

Across the glimmering wildernesses,

And drawest me, my love, to thee,

With dove’s eyes hidden in thy tresses.

The world is many: my love is one;

I find no likeness for my love.

The cinnamons grow in the grove;

The Golden Tree grows all alone.

O who hath seen her wondrous hair,

Or seen my dove’s eyes in the woods?

Or found her voice upon the air,

Her steps along the solitudes?

Or where is beauty like to hers?

She draweth me, she draweth me.

I sought her by the incense-tree,

And in the aloes, and in the firs.

Where art thou, O my heart’s delight,

With dove’s eyes hidden in thy locks?

My hair is wet with dews of night.

My feet are torn upon the rocks.

The cedarn scents, the spices, fail

About me. Strange and stranger seems

The path. There comes a sound of streams

Above the darkness on the vale.

No trees drop gums; but poison flowers

From rifts and clefts all round me fall;

The perfumes of thy midnight bowers,

The fragrance of thy chambers, all

Is drawing me, is drawing me.

Thy baths prepare; anoint thine hair;

Open the window: meet me there:

I come to thee, to thee, to thee!

Thy lattices are dark, my own.

Thy doors are still. My love, look out.

Arise, my dove with tender tone.

The champhor-clusters all about

Are whitening. Dawn breaks silently.

And all my spirit with the dawn

Expands; and, slowly, slowly drawn,

Through mist and darkness moves toward thee.