Carol Anne Duffy, “Chaucer’s Valentine”

(for N.)

The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne…
but be my valentine
                         and I’ll one candle burn,
love’s light a fluent tongue,
old habit young, the door ajar
to where our bed awaits,
                         not in a room
but in a wood, all thrilled with birds,
the flight of early English words to poetry,
there as sweetness evermore now is,
this human kiss,
                         love’s written bliss in every age…
hold the front page.