Renunciation

after Seathrun Ceitinn
Dear one, with your wiles,
You’d best remove your hand,
Though burning with love’s fires,
I’m no more an active man.

Look at the grey on my head,
See how my body droops,
Think of my sluggish blood –
What would you have me do?

It’s not desire I lack.
Don’t bend low like that again.
But love without the act
May live, slender minz.

Withdraw your lips from mine,
Strong as the inclination is,
Don’t brush against my skin,
That could lead to wantonness.

The intricacy of curls,
Soft eyes clear as dew,
The pale sight of your curves,
Gives pleasure to me now.

Bar what the body craves,
and lying with you requires,
I’ll do for our love’s sake,
Dear one, with your wiles.

Maurice Riordan
(from The Water Stealer, faber and faber)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s