The First and Last

O kiss me now; the end is near
The bright beginning; kiss me, dear.
I would not that thou shouldn’t one day
In bitter thought remembering say:

“When in the high tide of our bliss
Upon these lips I slew the kiss
That should have lived.”
                                            The kiss I fear—
The poison, ah, the lie, my dear.

Fear not; O kiss me whilst I can’t
Refuse; am I to-morrow thine?
Wilt thou be near me when I pant?

I shall not go; thou wilt not pine.
Sweet thoughts!—Alas, the first, the last!

Nay, nay! I cling to thee: the past
Is dying in the lap of night
In which our star is shining bright.

The fingers in the shadow, there!
What are they weaving? Look, a shroud!
Come, purse thy lips; do no despair;
Take hold my hand and speak aloud.

No, no! For whom that shroud, for whom?
Not for our love—not for our joy?

Then seal thou with thy lips my doom,
Ay, with a kiss this life destroy!

From Myrtle and Myrrh (The Gorham Press, 1905) by Ameen Rihani. This poem is in the public domain.