Mark Antony’s Valentine

“You cannot call it love, for at your age,
The heyday of the blood is tame,” said he–
An ignorant child who never could presage
What nature’s secret of love’s growth would be.
No less than air or food or sun’s warm ray
Your sound, your smell, your taste, your touch, your sight
Still animate, sustain and calm the clay
That sinks into my mattress every night.
No less the rose of dawn, the bloom of spring
For being welcomed yet another time.
Appreciation of a precious thing
Accumulates before it turns sublime;
Even in depletion, more entire
And poignant, knowing soon it must expire.

Published in A Fine Frenzy:Poets Respond to Shakespeare p.98

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