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Bardic Arts

Night Came and Fell Into Her Eyes
Gerhardt von Nordflammen

Night came and fell into her eyes
I saw it go and saw it rise
Out of them again and glowing,
And into mine and in my heart
Something stirred, the warm blood flowing.
I shook myself and shoot apart
My soul like dogs shake out water.
Who was left? Tíwas I who sought her.

Who is she and what did she do
That sheared the scars so cleanly through,
That left sweet air and life inside
Someone ... who ... me? I couldnít say.
It seems as though the dead have died
The husks of hurt fall by the way
And life emerges and moves on
My sundered heart is now made one.

Again, what did you do Lady?
Made bitterness drain out of me.
If I knew, Iíd know everything ...
That what Iíll find is what I seek,
Why Christ said it was a blessing
For love to turn the other cheek,
The secret held by every saint:
Love without limit or constraint.

How shall I describe her? Cry joy?
Words fail, (God, thatís a hackneyed ploy!)
Iíll do better since Iíve her leave
To be a poet. Sheís just so,
She fits, itís simple ... when we cleave
Thereís two streams met to make one flow.
A seamless ribbon to the source
Of love, joy, wisdom and valors.

When I see her, my heart stands still.
I have no tongue or wit or will.
And then she smiles, it melts my soul.
Warmth, flashing ... brighter than the sun.
Iím liquid fire! Let me be whole!
Beloved let our flames be one ...
And life, death and divinity
Are meaningless ... your loveís in me!

Then sheíll laugh and I canít help it,
Tenderness floods through my spirit.
The blue eyes flashing, so alive,
The way the flesh folds around her lips.
Her head tilts and the joy will dive
A waterfall of silver slips
Down through me cleansing, making fresh
All things ... the spirit and the flesh.

Love came and fell into my heart.
I saw her then; my life and art
Were made one, joy became my lot,
My touchstone and my destiny.
Who I was before, Iíve forgot.
A dead man maybe, but not me.
Now I live and tíwas you Lady
Gave me the gift and set me free.

By love has dead Guiraut been raised.
He lives again, her name be praised
Who kindled, brought forth living light
And made a holy gem of night.

In the Canso style -- "A love song, usually addressed directly or indirectly to the woman (or man) who is the object of oneís passion." -- GvN
Guiraut is Gerhardt's "alter-ego", this is from a series of poems Gerhardt published in his second folio.
© 1984, Lawrence Hyink III

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