A LOVE LESSON
by: Thomas Burke (1887-1945)
night I dreamed of the maid with yellow curls,
- She came to me in the room above my shop,
- And we two were alone, freed from the laws of day.
- I held her then to myself.
- I took from her her clothing, garment by garment,
- And watched them fall about her feet--
- White petals of a flower.
- And I drew from her to myself her thoughts, one by one,
- As often I had wished, till all of her was mine.
- And then I was sad, for nothing was left to love.
- And quickly I clothed her again, garment by garment,
- And gave her back her thoughts, one by one,
- And awoke in joy.
- I was glad that the dream was a dream,
- And that all of her was not mine;
- For I had learned
- That love released from bond, and unburdened of its fetters,
- Is love no longer.
POEMS BY THOMAS BURKE
"A Love Lesson" is reprinted
from The Song Book of Quong Lee of Limehouse. Thomas Burke.
New York: Henry Holt, 1920.