The Love Sonnets Of Proteus. Part IiI; Gods And False Gods Lvii
ON A LOST OPPORTUNITY
We might, if you had willed, have conquered Heaven.
Once only in our lives before the gate
Of Paradise we stood, one fortunate even,
And gazed in sudden rapture through the grate.
And, while you stood astonished, I, our fate
Venturing, pushed the latch and found it free.
There stood the tree of knowledge fair and great
Beside the tree of life. One instant we
Stood in that happy garden, guardianless.
My hands already turned towards the tree
And in another moment we had known
The taste of joy and immortality
And been ourselves as gods. But in distress
You thrust me back with supplicating arms
And eyes of terror, till the impatient sun
Had time to set and till the heavenly host
Rushed forth on us with clarions and alarms
And cast us out for ever, blind and lost.