This poem is for Jane’s A Month with Yeats, Day Fifteen.
“You, too, have come where the dim tides are hurled
Upon the wharves of sorrow, and heard ring
The bell that calls us on; the sweet far thing.” —W.B. Yeats
And so, he came to where the dim tides flow
here upon the wharves of sorrow, dared to go,
listened now for Charon’s boat, the slapping sound of weathered pole
the echoing cries of distant weary souls.
But entered he without a fear, played sweetly then upon his lyre
the music that filled the air was warm with sighs and filled with fire
because here within this shadowed world, his love did dwell
playing sweetly then, he cast a spell.
The underworld king, his captured queen looked from their gilded thrones,
agreeing that he should not be left bereft of love, nor kept lonely and alone
for such love and devotion, such tumult of emotion he had displayed
crossing over the ocean of darkness, from lighted world to constant shade.
They thus agreed, from the underworld she could go,
but promises he must willingly keep to make it happen so–
she would follow him from this hidden world, behind him there she’d be
not once though could he stop to look or see
Once round the cavernous steps went he
believing that there behind him, his love would be,
twice round and then up they went, closer to the world of light
when he, not believing she was there, turned to catch a sight
Instantly, from Hades he was then thrust out
for not trusting the gods, for having his doubts,
but Aphrodite prevailed to place the lovers’ souls amidst the stars,
traveling the sky as shimmering silvered cars
where like a bell their love now rings,
in music of the stars, the sweet far thing.