Robert Graves

The Starred Coverlet

A difficult achievement for true lovers
Is to lie mute, without embrace or kiss,
Without a rustle or a smothered sigh,
Basking each in the other’s glory.

Let us not undervalue lips or arms
As reassurances of constancy,
Or speech as necessary communication
When troubled hearts go groping through the dusk;

Yet lovers who have learned this last refinement –
to lie apart, yet sleep and dream together
Motionless under their starred coverlet –
Crown love with wreaths of myrtle.