I have been here before,
But when or how I cannot tell:
I know the grass beyond the door,
The sweet keen smell,
The sighing sound, the lights around the shore.
You have been mine before,—
How long ago I may not know:
But just when at that swallow's soar
Your neck turned so,
Some veil did fall,—I knew it all of yore.
Has this been thus before?
And shall not thus time's eddying flight
Still with our lives our love restore
In death's despite,
And day and night yield one delight once more?
Isn't this gorgeous? It's by Daniel Dante Rossetti (would you hate me if I named my child Dante?) and although I don't subscribe to the idea of reincarnation as an actuality, I am deeply enamored of the incredibly comforting and searingly romantic aspects of it. Sometimes a person will burst into your life, TECHNICOLOR against the sepia throng, and you just get that feeling. Not that it always end well, does it? Some of these people bedevil us, but they always make an indelible mark on our lives.
Something I'm not fond of, however, is alternate endings. I won't watch them on DVDs. Flat out refuse. OK, I watched the alternate ending of Layer Cake* and, ick, that only reinforced my loathing. So it was with trepidation that I read this other version of Rossetti's poem, but as it turns out it's "alternate" for me, but the original as published. This replaces the final stanza above:
Then, now,—perchance again! . . . .
O round mine eyes your tresses shake!
Shall we not lie as we have lain
Thus for Love's sake,
And sleep, and wake, yet never break the chain?
Dreamy either way, no?
*To the haters who are boycotting Daniel Craig as Bond: y'all crazy. He is gonna pull that shit off in fine style. FOO-INE style. And he makes my mouth water.