From the Book of Valentines

by Bliss Carman


 

THE LEAST OF LOVE


 

Only let one fair frail woman 
Mourn for me when I am dead,— 
World, withhold your best of praises! 
There are better things instead.

Shall the little fame concern me, 

5

Or the triumph of the years, 
When I keep the mighty silence, 
Through the falling of her tears?

I shall heed not, though 'twere April
And my field-larks all returned, 

10

When her lips upon these eyelids 
One last poppied kiss have burned.

Painted hills shall not allure me,
Mirrored in the painted stream; 
Having loved them, I shall leave them, 

15

Busy with the vaster dream.

Only let one dear dark woman
Mourn for me when I am dead, 
I shall be content with beauty 
And the dust above my head.

20


Yet when I shall make the journey
From these earthly dear abodes, 
I have four things to remember 
At the Crossing of the Roads.

How her hand was like a tea-rose;

25

And her low voice like the South;
Her soft eyes were tarns of sable; 
A red poppy was her mouth.

Only let one sweet frail woman
Mourn for me when I am dead,—

30

Gently for her gentlest lover,—
More than all will have been said.

Be my requiem the rain-wind;
And my immortality 
But the lifetime of one heartache 

35
By the unremembering sea!