love late

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The Welcome
Edwin Morgan
When love comes late, but fated,
the very ground seems on fire with tongues of running time,
and conscious hearts are speaking
of the long vistas closed in clouds
by lonely waters, all goodbyes
where the swallow is a shadow
swooping back, like youth, to silence.

If all goodbyes could be drowned in one welcome,
and the pain of waiting be washed from a hundred street-corners,
and dry rebuffs and grey regrets, backs marching into rain
slip like a film from the soiled spirit made new –
I’d take that late gift, and those tongues
of fire would burn out in our
thankful fountains, to the sea.

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