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Y. Opfeser

(written in 2236)

These four sonnets are taken from the short collection The Fool’s Gold. This work marked at the time a new approach to the whole subject of love, which had for so long been a subject of taboo in the North, since the break-up of the Empire, and the consequent lack of contact with the more sexually overt culture of the Deep South. Initially controversial, these sonnets became the standard form of love poetry in during the course of the latter Sixth Age across the whole of West Herenor, and later came to influence the work of the Qemrí poets of the New Epoch school.


 Come, come, its time to go, my friend,

 The misty road ahead bodes well,

 And though we may not see the end,

 Onwards it winds beyond our knell;

 Perhaps at this late hour I’ll pray

 That you might falter not nor fall

 Nor stray to paths which promise day,

 Nor heed our world’s enticing call;

 And if through meadows stark with grief,

 Silent with despair you seek bright hope,

 Look not to long-gone memories brief,

 But choose again this hand, elope,

  And find warm birdsong skies of blue,

  As I will find sweet spring in you.


 Not once this mangled world of woes did weave

 So tragic a tapestry in water-soaked plumes;

 Swan, thy white-winged body once did cleave

 A sordid air of unseen human fumes,

 Unfit to bear such beauty o’er Earth’s black crust;

 What bane did still those pinions, thy hapless sighs

 Plummeting thither to waters choked with dust,

 Where now thy neck outstretched does gently rise

 And fall with wavelets soiling thy plumage pure,

 Urging thy corpse ahead to some sluggish firth,

 A mangled beauty silently dispersed ashore,

 Nevermore to reach away from Earth,

   Fusing instead diffused in raw ruination,

  Oblivion offered as nature’s oblation.



 Ah! in your eyes shine not the gleams which tempt

  My manic muse to speak of dour divinity;

 But in these orbs there smoulder dreams long dreamt

  On youthful days when still we sensed infinity!

 Ere fled I was to chase a shooting star,

 Which lured my muse to dwell on thoughts eternal,

 Did not e’en then (in wells too deep to scar)

 Simmer embers fuming incense infernal?

 Or are these sights I see in eyes too deep

 But sad reflections of my own far wand’rings?

 Am I doomed to see on high vast vaults leap,

 Or sense dark, cosmic crypts beneath my pond’rings?

  O’erfed on fantasy, to thee I turn,

  A child now silent and waiting to learn.   


 Meddling bug, can’t you see you are not welcome?

 What do you want of me? Begone! Get hence!

 Your presence near me is much as were hell come;

 Why must you trail me so? It makes me tense.

 Thy buzzing round my head is very vexing,

 When passion is all I desire to taste;

 What need I to feed on nectar’s flowery waxing,

 With these sweet pleasures ’bout her body laced?  

 With thee, and thy senseless sentimentality,                                 

 Did I not vow ne’er again to consort?     

 Why sting me still when it spells thy mortality?

 What starts in joy is lost at length to naught.

  Not thee, dear Love, but her, I’ll choose to court,

  My valued days spent not in love but sport!

© Copyright Paul David Holland 2017