Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Lord Alfred Douglas: Sicilian Love Song

I found this in one of the The Bruno Chapbooks, a series of publications which came out of Greenwich Village in New York under the direction of arch bohemian, Guido Bruno. Alfred Douglas, inevitably really given his role in the Wilde affair, is one of those Nineties figures who people either love to hate or love to defend. He also did inexcusable by surviving the Nineties and going on to live to a ripe old age which very few of the Nineties crowd manged to do.

Bruno was publishing this poem and some other material by Douglas in The Spirit Lamp, in Sept 1915, about the time that Douglas was beginning to re-envisage his relationship with Wilde. It's clear from the editorial gloss in the magazine that Bruno is annoyed by this and publishes this selection by way of claiming that 'the lady dost protest too much.'

Sicilian Love Song

Will the hot sun never die?
He shines too bright, too long.
How long the hours creep by!
Will the thrush never finish her song?
She is singing too merrily.

Of when will the moon some, pale,
And strange? I am weary, I wait
For the sad sad nightingale
Ever sobbing insatiate.
Will the day-light never fail?

Take wings relentless light,
Die quickly unloved sun!
For my love will come with the night
When the dreary day is done.
Come soon! come soon! sweet night!

His lips are sweet and red,
Where starlight and moonlight mingle
We will make our bridal bed,
Down in the cool, dark dingle,
When the long day is dead.

Lord Alfred Douglas.
Originally from The Spirit Lamp, May 1893.
Reprinted The Bruno Chapbooks Vol 2. No. 3, Sept 1915.

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