Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
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LOVE LIES BLEEDING

          YOU call it, "Love lies bleeding,"--so you may,
          Though the red Flower, not prostrate, only droops,
          As we have seen it here from day to day,
          From month to month, life passing not away:
          A flower how rich in sadness! Even thus stoops,
          (Sentient by Grecian sculpture's marvellous power)
          Thus leans, with hanging brow and body bent
          Earthward in uncomplaining languishment
          The dying Gladiator. So, sad Flower!
          ('Tis Fancy guides me willing to be led,                    10
          Though by a slender thread,)
          So drooped Adonis bathed in sanguine dew
          Of his death-wound, when he from innocent air
          The gentlest breath of resignation drew;
          While Venus in a passion of despair
          Rent, weeping over him, her golden hair
          Spangled with drops of that celestial shower.
          She suffered, as Immortals sometimes do;
          But pangs more lasting far, 'that' Lover knew
          Who first, weighed down by scorn, in some lone bower        20
          Did press this semblance of unpitied smart
          Into the service of his constant heart,
          His own dejection, downcast Flower! could share
          With thine, and gave the mournful name which thou wilt ever 
              bear.
                                                              1845.


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