“Delight” a poem by Olive Custance



You butterfly!

You singing bird!

You dainty sweet

Sweet woman with the dancing feet!

A sight of you, I know not why,

Strange wistful memories are stirred

In my soul’s dephts, when you flash by,

I love you at each swift heart beat,

Yet sit and never say a word,

So many thoughts thrill us unheard.

O! little throat,

so slim and white!

Dear voice as deep

Restful and wonderful as sleep…

Our whole souls ache at each full note,

Fall faint with rapture, swoon to flight

And follow where your love songs float,

And, following forget to weep…

Alas! that silence should up-sweap

Such songs into the void of night!…

OLIVE CUSTANCE (1874-1944) was a british poet connected to the Aesthetic Movement which dominated both literature and art in 1890’s. She was married to Lord Alfred Douglas who was Oscar Wilde’s former lover, but later choose to live separate from him. She also bore him a son, Raymond. Before her marriage to Lord Alfred Douglas she had a couple of lesbian love affairs. Like Douglas she also converted to Roman Catholicism but abandoned her catholic beliefs later in life.