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Great Poems of Love

The Vigil of Love

Joseph Plunkett

Artistic Love Card 2

ILLA CANTAT: NOS TACEMUS: QUANDO VER VENIT MEUM?
QUANDO FIAM UTI CHELIDON, UT TACERE DESINAM?
PERDIDI MUSAM TACENDO, NEC ME PHOEBUS RESPICIT.
SIC AMYCLAS, CUM TACERENT, PERDIDIT SILENTIUM.
CRAS AMET QUI NUNQUAM AMAVIT: QUIQUE AMAVIT CRAS AMET.

She sings, but we are silent: when shall Spring
Of mine come to me? I as the swallow make
Me vocal, and this desolate silence break?
The Muse has left me for I cannot sing;
Nor does Apollo now his splendour bring
To aid my vision, blinded for her sake—
Thus mute Amyclas would not silence wake
And perished in the shadow of its wing.

The wings of the imperishable Dove
Unfold for flight, and we shall cease from sorrow;
Song shall the beauty of dead Silence borrow
When lips once mute now raise this chant above:
Love to the loveless shall be given to-morrow,
To-morrow for the lover shall be love.




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