Francis Thompson

Here you will find the Poem Love's Almsman Plaineth His Fare of poet Francis Thompson

Love's Almsman Plaineth His Fare

O you, love's mendicancy who never tried,
How little of your almsman me you know!
Your little languid hand in mine you slide,
Like to a child says--'Kiss me and let me go!'
And night for this is fretted with my tears,
While I:-'How soon this heavenly neck doth tire
Bending to me from its transtellar spheres!'
Ah, heart all kneaded out of honey and fire!
Who bound thee to a body nothing worth,
And shamed thee much with an unlovely soul,
That the most strainedest charity of earth
Distasteth soon to render back the whole
Of thine inflam-ed sweets and gentilesse!
Whereat, like an unpastured Titan, thou
Gnaw'st on thyself for famine's bitterness,
And leap'st against thy chain. Sweet Lady, how
Little a linking of the hand to you!
Though I should touch yours careless for a year,
Not one blue vein would lie divinelier blue
Upon your fragile temple, to unsphere
The seraphim for kisses! Not one curve
Of your sad mouth would droop more sad and sweet.
But little food love's beggars needs must serve,
That eye your plenteous graces from the street.
A hand-clasp I must feed on for a night,
A noon, although the untasted feast you lay,
To mock me, of your beauty. That you might
Be lover for one space, and make essay
What 'tis to pass unsuppered to your couch,
Keep fast from love all day; and so be taught
The famine which these craving lines avouch!
Ah! miser of good things that cost thee naught,
How know'st thou poor men's hunger?--Misery!
When I go doleless and unfed by thee!