Sonnet-Sequence: Four Linked Hymns in Praise of Eros, Boyish God of Love

by T.J. White
(N.B.—Though slightly edited within the last few years, these poems were in fact substantially written nearly three decades ago, when the author was in his early twenties, and thus very young himself. At that time, the poet in his wanton youth rashly intended not only to master, but—if possible—to even transcend the genre of the Sonnet. The reader will no doubt judge how successfully or how miserably the poet succeeded or failed in that task.)

Out of that first blood Eros appeared, being androgynous. ... He is very lovely in his beauty, having a charm beyond all the creatures of chaos. Then all the gods and their angels, when they beheld Eros, became enamored of him. And appearing in all of them he set them afire. ...
--“On the Origin of the World”, a „Gnostic‟ tractate from The Nag Hammadi Library in English, James M. Robinson, general editor.

Synopsis:
After a strenuous night of passionate and delicious love-making with his boyfriend, a boyish-looking young man, and with the coming of dawn, the youthful poet—still so enraptured with and aroused by his young lover that he cannot sleep (though exhausted)—musingly describes how the song-birds of morning, the rising sun, and even the Heavenly Angels might react to seeing the rare and marvelous beauty on display before his (and their) wondering eyes. The poet, however, closes with a cautionary warning of self-advice not to become so entranced by his young lover’s beauty that he ends up allowing himself to be taken advantage of.

I

W

hen nightly in Love's draughts we steep our souls, And taste of Joy, imbibing heady wine (His passion hotter than the fiery

coals), No pen nor tongue can tell the bliss that's mine! With Phoebus' flaming orb the larks do rise, And with the love-sick doves sing praise to Joy-I gaze upon this Faun who sleeping lies (So childlike, and yet much more than a boy) And marvel at such richness, mine at last! I know not if this love will triumph grief, Or if, like former hopes, be overcast-I only know (such is my firm belief), This boy's the Sacred Altar where I kneel In humble adoration, praise, and zeal!

II

he morning Lark's proud song doth so inspire A rapture in the souls of all who hear His heav'nly strains, their hearts no more require; Yet could he sing but half so sweet, my dear, As thou appearest lovely to mine eye, He'd far outsing the noblest heav'nly choirs, And all the Seraph hosts above would vie To learn the source of his amorous fires. The only primal flame which they would find Would be thy slim, angelic form, my love, For only thy great beauty could remind Them of the song which they admir'd above: Can even angels see a form like thine, And eke with songs of longing not repine?

T

III

hy radiant beauty seems so all-divine That surely the Seraphic hosts above Must long for thee, as longing I repine! (Oh let me not disturb thy slumbers, love!) The rising sun doth pause at morning's light, To gently play his rays about thy face With such a tender longing that he might Be thought to even worship thy sweet grace. Such Joy!--to gaze upon thy boyish shape-The golden down upon thy parted lips, Lithe limbs and silken hair (I fain would rape*), Smooth, dusky skin, arousing, uncloth'd hips-How can a stunning, god-like form as thine Be mortal-born, yet with such glory shine?

T

* In the harmless and non-criminal sense of “ravish”

IV

L'envoy: f praising thee will bring love in return, Doubt not, my Boy, I'll praise thee all the more, For love's acceptance causes me to yearn As ne'er before for thee, whom I adore; Then let me never, dearest love-god, fail To bring thee satisfaction while I may: With solemn, rev'rent words I thee will hail, Thou lovely Sprite, thou charming Faery-Fay. But oh, my Soul--if ever thou should'st find That proffer'd love brings sorrow in return, Then cease these amorous ravings of thy mind! From fickleness and empty hopes then turn! Why should'st thou with such grief y-burthen'd be? Life's far too short to spend in misery!

I

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