love poems If Love Could Last by Alfred Austin romantic poems art

If Love Could Last

Love might look so different with faith attached…

If Love could last, if Love could last,
The Future be as was the Past,
Nor faith and fondness ever know
The chill of dwindling afterglow,
Oh, then we should not have to long
For cuckoo’s call and throstle’s song,
But every season then would ring
With rapturous voices of the spring.
In budding brake and grassy glade
The primrose then would never fade,
The windflower flag, the bluebell haze
Faint from the winding woodland ways,
But vernal hopes chase wintry fears,
And happy smiles and happier tears
Be like the sun and clouds at play,—
If Love could last!

If Love could last, the rose would then
Not bloom but once, to fade again.
June to the lily would not give
A life less fair than fugitive,
But flower and leaf and lawn renew
Their freshness nightly with the dew.
In forest dingles, dim and deep,
Where curtained noonday lies asleep,
The faithful ringdove ne’er would cease
Its anthem of abiding peace.
All the year round we then should stray
Through fragrance of the new-mown hay,
Or sit and ponder old-world rhymes
Under the leaves of scented limes.
Careless of time, we should not fear
The footsteps of the fleeting year,
Or, did the long warm days depart,
’Twould still be summer in our heart,—
Did Love but last!

Did Love but last, no shade of grief
For fading flower, for falling leaf,
For stubbles whence the piled-up wain
Hath borne away the golden grain,
Leaving a load of loss behind,
Would shock the heart and haunt the mind.
With mellow gaze we then should see
The ripe fruit shaken from the tree,
The swallows troop, the acorns fall,
The last peach redden on the wall,
The oasthouse smoke, the hopbine burn,
Knowing that all good things return
To Love that lasts!

If Love could last, who then would mind
The freezing rack, the unfeeling wind,
The curdling pool, the shivering sedge,
The empty nest in leafless hedge,
Brown dripping bents and furrows bare,
The wild geese clamouring through the air,
The huddling kine, the sodden leaves,
Lack-lustre dawns and clammy eves?
For then through twilight days morose
We should within keep warm and close,
And by the friendly fireside blaze
Talk of the ever-sacred days
When first we met, and felt how drear
Were life without the other near;
Or, too at peace with bliss to speak,
Sit hand in hand, and cheek to cheek,—
If Love could last!

Yet Love Can Last.

Yet Love can last, yes, Love can last,
The Future be as was the Past,
And faith and fondness never know
The chill of dwindling afterglow,
If to familiar hearth there cling
The virgin freshness of the spring,
And April’s music still be heard
In wooing voice and winning word.
If when autumnal shadows streak
The furrowed brow, the wrinkled cheek,
Devotion, deepening to the close,
Like fruit that ripens, tenderer grows;
If, though the leaves of youth and hope
Lie thick on life’s declining slope,
The fond heart, faithful to the last,
Lingers in love-drifts of the past;
If, with the gravely shortening days,
Faith trims the lamp, Faith feeds the blaze,
And Reverence, robed in wintry white,
Sheds fragrance like a summer night,—
Then Love can last!

Love stories love poems love letters at Love Art Poetry - flower 9

Love Poem by Alfred Austin

Love Art – Hydrangea and Swallow color woodblock print by Katsushika Hokusai. Original from Art Institute Chicago.