What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.
I wrote this response - or parody, if you want to see it that way. I was especially taken with the imagery of the tree, and tried to use it to good effect. I also tried to keep her end-rhyme words, but couldn't quite make that work. I did keep the same rhyme scheme, and rhymes. By some odd coincidence, it also fits today's haiku theme.
What lips my lips have missed, and stayed too dry:
The breath of comely girls, and young - or plain,
Their damp breath uninhaled. But now the rain
Makes the air moist tonight, Not ghosts that sigh
In forlorn memories of sad goodbye.
And in my heart there stirs a quiete pain
For girls untouched, unkissed, without a stain
Who never thrilled me with a midnight cry.
What memories has a lonely barren tree
Of lovely birds who flew past one by one
Whose brief beguiling echoed "Nevermore?"
No memories of nests it's never known.
The Summer-song unsung holds fast to me
In Winter's age, more precious than before.
Copyright 2010 JazzBumpa