Aye, I am foolish for I know
That I shall sadden when you go,
And I am blind because I see
That you were more than God to me:
A brighter sun than Heaven’s shone
When I was with you, Daedalon.
Can I find strength enough to stand
The last slight pressure of your hand;
Can I find fortitude to bear
The knowledge that you are not there,
Then turn my Book of Life upon
The memory of Daedalon
Remember you! No, no, I’ll shut
The Book, or from its pages cut
The image of you graven there,
The dingy tangle of your hair,
Your ill-kept hands and lifeless face,
And seek friends in some other place.
Forget you? … When my heart repeats
Your wisdom to me as it beats? …
That always you may be the same
My rhymes shall vivify your name …
Aye, cunningly I’ll play upon
The happy name of Daedalon.
But you were cold to me, I know,
Who never dreamed my thoughts to show,
But sat content to hear you speak,
And see the bronzeness of your cheek,
Your sunburnt nose and wounded eye …
But never told you, no, not I.
Yes, I am blind; but still I saw
The beauty of you all the more,
How slowly came your drawled reply,
How gleamed your artificial eye;
And on the morrow you’ll be gone …
Ah, but I loved you, Daedalon.
by J.R. ACKERLEY (1896-1967)
Public Domain Poetry