Romantic Auden

Nothing touches the heart more than a beautiful love poem. And here is WH Auden at his finest. He wrote it in 1940 when he was 32 or 33 years old. The poet John Fuller in his selection of Auden’s poems gives no further information, no annotations. But it is so simple, so beautiful, no explanations are needed.

If I Could Tell You

By WH Auden

Time will say nothing; but I told you so
Time only knows the price we have to pay
If I could tell you I would let you know.

If we should weep when clowns put on their show,
If we should stumble when musicians play,
Time will say nothing but I told you so.

There are no fortunes to be told, although,
Because I love you more than I can say,
If I could tell you I would let you know.

The winds must come from somewhere when they blow,
There must be reasons why the leaves decay;
Time will say nothing but I told you so.

Perhaps the roses really want to grow,
The vision seriously intends to stay
If I could tell you I would let you know.

Suppose the lions all get up and go,
And all the brooks and soldiers run away
Will Time say nothing but I told you so?
If I could tell you I would let you know.