Cheery St. Valentine's Day twosome.
We'll Go No More A-Roving
O, we'll go no more a-roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.
For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And love itself have a rest.
Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a-roving
By the light of the moon.
Lord Byron, circa 1800--1820
Insomnia. Homer. Taut sails. I've read to the middle of the list of ships: the strung-out flock, the stream of cranes that once rose above Hellas. Flight of cranes crossing strange borders, leaders drenched with the foam of the gods, where are you sailing? What would Troy be to you, men of Achaea, without Helen? The sea---Homer---it's all moved by love. But to whom shall I listen? No sound now from Homer, and the black sea roars like a speech and thunders up the bed.
Osip Mandelstam, Crimea, 1915 transl. Clarence Brown & W. S. Merwin.