Romantic Poems

They who thought Psyche fair,

Come hither and see her put to shame,

For my love’s smile is the morning sun,

And beauty is her name.


Love is in her eyes,

Hair only wind can tame.

The inky sky penned in ode to her,

Would all be but in vain.


Cherubs come from Olympus flying,

For the women there are plain,

Their wings burn away unnoticed,

Her sight overcomes all pain.


Laughing and blushing and smiling oh so,

The skipping of my heart her pretty game,

Her eyes like cupids arrows,

At a heart relentlessly aimed,


That i am played on unthinkingly,

Gives me little share of the blame,

The wonders that I see in them,

A mere oracle cannot explain.


Salman Shahid Khan


That light dances across your eyes,
That shrewd assassin in disguise,
Finds its trap already sprung.

To one accustomed to the dark,
As your eyes produce that spark,
It seems like the glaring sun.

It moves my very soul about,
As I catch your dreams fluttering out,
and sucks me into a reverie.

I then dream of much wished-for things
Of love that lifts, yet burns and stings,
Imprisons the heart, sets souls free.

Such longed-for confusion your laughter brings,
Every smile like a poisoned arrow springs,
Carrying Sorrow with its Delight.

My wishes will bring me to tears,
I too have now loved what disappears,
My bright day will soon, again, be night.

Salman Shahid Khan

O cloud-pale eyelids, dream-dimmed eyes,
The poets labouring all their days
To build a perfect beauty in rhyme
Are overthrown by a woman’s gaze

And by the unlabouring brood of the skies:
And therefore my heart will bow, when dew
Is dropping sleep, until God burn time,
Before the unlabouring stars and you.

“He Tells of the Perfect Beauty” by William Butler Yeats


He trudged on in the snow-white fields,
Till his stick splintered and his shoes broke,
Despairing, he thought he was lost,
And then he heard the whirling of her cloak,

Illuminated in a flash of lightning,
Like a fleeting, surreal dream,
That came and was gone in a blink of the eye,
The hues of red so briefly seen.

Moonbeams curled and they softly fell,
on a silent figure in the snow,
Two eyes that lit a fire in him,
Alive, he felt his courage grow.

Two eyes that had the stars in them,
Her waving hair beckoning,
A lingering smile on her face,
lips that would be his reckoning.

The mayfly that sees the eternal moon,
Enamoured, looks only its way
Though its life starts and ends unseen,
as night turns cruelly to day.

The moon may belong to the sky,
And be by bright stars surrounded,
But its rays make the world look bright,
when the mayfly’s eyes have found it.

But without a word, in a whirl of red,
She turned, vanished in the dark.
He fumbled blindly, madly for her,
Found no footprint, not a mark.

A flake of snow on a burning face,
Pacifying but momentarily,
A sweet scent lost to a blowing wind,
satisfying but temporarily

Salman Shahid Khan

August, 2011


Some may have blamed you that you took away
The verses that could move them on the day
When, the ears being deafened, the sight of the eyes blind
With lightning, you went from me, and I could find

Nothing to make a song about but kings,
Helmets, and swords, and half-forgotten things
That were like memories of you—but now
We’ll out, for the world lives as long ago;

And while we’re in our laughing, weeping fit,
Hurl helmets, crowns, and swords into the pit.
But, dear, cling close to me; since you were gone,
My barren thoughts have chilled me to the bone.

—   ‘Reconciliation’ by William Butler Yeats

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

Of night and light and the half-light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.


—   ‘He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven’ by William Butler Yeats

“Fireflies at Elkmont” by Jim Embry


Where from you ask, did the fireflies come,
Dancing in the twilight?
Those glimmering, swooning fairies,
Like little balls of light,

Like colourful sparks, when he opened his eyes,
Shimmering dreams with them shut tight,
That kept him rolling over, awake,
Smiling, laughing all night,

‘Twas her word, making it all shine,
Breaking the clouds making it bright,
Waking the birds, turning his dawn,
From grey, to silver, to white.


Written August, 2011

Salman Shahid Khan