The Poems of Tay Chong Hai

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Dr Tay Chong Hai

"Rare" is probably the operative word when describing the career of Dr Tay Chong Hai who was a pupil of the V.I. from 1947 to 1953. How rare it was then (as it is now) to find a schoolboy with a love of writing poetry, much less a science student - but Chong Hai was that rare bird indeed. He was active in the Science and Mathematics Society and edited a cyclostyled publication of the Society called The Quack. In 1953, he conceived the idea of a formal science magazine for the Society and became the first editor of The Scientific Victorian. He was also the literary editor of the V.I. Voice which first appeared in June 1953 that later became The Seladang. He pseudonymously created a character named Ah Fatt, a Billy Bunteresque V.I. boy whose adventures appeared in both publications. It was such an instant hit that Ah Fatt became the talk of the school for some time. Here are the stories of Ah Fatt:

  1. Ah Fatt comes to VI PSC Class
  2. Ah Fatt comes to The Victoria Institution
  3. Ah Fatt Collection

He wrote poems prolifically during his V.I. days and submitted many of them to Young Malayans and The Singapore Standard newspaper. When he left school, Chong Hai presented the School Library with two volumes of his poems, Some Selected Poems and A Malayan Ballad.

He obtained his M.B.B.S. at the University of Malaya in Singapore and proceeded to England for further studies. He was appointed consultant physician to the Singapore General Hospital in 1971 and subsequently headed the Department of Medicine at Changi Hospital. Since 1978, he has been in private practice as a consultant physician and rheumatologist at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Gleneagles Hospital, Mount Alvernia Hospital and East Shore Hospital in Singapore. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Glasgow and also a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. He founded the Society of Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology and, to date, has authored over 120 articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr Tay Chong Hai
from right: Tay Chong Hai, Tay Hung Lin (uncle), Tay Chong Sim (brother),
in V.I. uniform, 1953

In 1969, this rare personage discovered a rare syndrome associated with intellectual impairment, decreased fertility with short stature, ichthyosis and brittle hair which is now documented worldwide as Tay's Syndrome (also as IBIDS Syndrome or Trichothiodystrophy). Early in 1972, he sounded an alert on the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in East Malaysia, Taiwan and Singapore. In the nineties, Dr Tay uncovered another rarity - a condition described by him as Eosinophilic Arthritis affecting mainly the knees, ankles and shoulders with eosinophilia being the only extra-articular manifestation.

A pioneer in rheumatology in Singapore, he was the founder chairman of the Singapore National Arthritis Foundation in 1984. Dr Tay has investigated traditional Chinese medicine and highlighted the problems of high levels of arsenic, lead and mercury that are sometimes present in herbal medicine. He also drew attention to the problem of adulteration of Chinese medicines with Western medicines and warned against the misuse of cortisone. Dr Tay was conferred the Life Fellowship of the American Academy of Dermatology in 1998.

Besides his passion for medicine, Tay Chong Hai still dares to dream and, in 1977, published a collection of his poems, The Birth of a New Day. They are reproduced below with his permission:


Aurora tiptoes to the Land of Leal,
Birth of a New Day And sights low Selene wan in her flight.
She kisses soft the sleeping Earth to heal
The wounds it underwent the dreary Night.
When Lo! the golden eye of heaven peeps,
Through curtains thin, of mist and mountains high.
And ruddy glows the gleamer, while he creeps
With glorious pomp, steep up the azure sky.
'Mid stillness deep, breathes Zephyr sweet and low.
While twinkle dews with diamond sparks in glee.
O hark! how thin and clear Dawn's Lydians flow.
Behold! the blooming Flora fair and free.
The World soon brightly laves in golden ray.
And all will stir up with the newborn Day.


Into the light, into the day
The dreary night vanish'd away.
In drowsy flight, they westly post
The wan moon and her starry host.

Sinks Lucifer in sombre plight
Ere ruddy glows the morning light.
Now gently breathes the whining gale
Rising and gliding through the vale.

Now softly stirs the distant din,
Hark! cocks' alarums - how shrill and thin
Awake, arise, O slumbering Morn,
For cheery, tranquil Day's reborn.

With glorious pomp, the sublime sun
Alights his throne, his battle's won
And beauteous clouds his sides adorn
'Mid stillness deep and mists forlorn.

The hills above, the dales below
Sweet ditties purling mild and low,
O music fluctuates and fills
The verdant lawns, the hoary hills

Where sparkling dewdrops flash and thrill,
When trees do sway at Zephyr's will.
Where flowers marge the serene lakes
A gurgling stream its lone way makes

Out of the mist and balmy dawn
Down onwards, onwards lawn to lawn.
The warbling birds begin their flight.
And bees awake the gardens bright.

Ah, now the day is fairest fair,
With melodies and bright sweet air.
Workmen and schoolboys wend their way
To start their work with new-born day.


Fade, fade away like a flower
Whose beauty triumphs but a day
But when blasts the stormy shower
Thou wither, fall and pass away.
Flee, flee away as darksome night,
When Phoebus' lamp lights up the sky,
For day brings thee no bliss nor light
But night will soothe thee where thou lie.
Hie, hie away as dews of morn,
As bubble foams, as rainbows fair,
Swift expire, no sooner they're born,
Doth mortals thus, all sweet and rare.
No hearts thy grievance to unfold.
No love nor comfort crowns thy life.
Then Death his icy fingers hold
Thy budding prime and mournful strife.
Ephemerality, thy Wretch'd fate,
Timely snatch'd off thy grief and pain.
Away, depart from Earth's foul gate
Ent'ring thou to God's care and plain.


Lillian, thy fairness is to me
Like Aurora Borealis lush,
That glares o'er sunless icy sea
Painting the sky with gorgeous blush.
And howling breakers are enthralled
When they, thy beauty to behold.

Thy stately form and matchless grace
Like a twinkling snow-white lily,
Fit to deck Beauty's throne and face,
Fairest of fair, divine and free,
E'en Venus fails to surpass thee!
None, O none can compare to thee!

Thy eyes bedim the stars and moon,
Thy accents sweet, Love's alarums,
Thy lovely face, a Nature's boon,
Thy nectarous rose lips have charms,
Immortalize men with thy kiss.
So soft, so sweet, heavenly bliss!

Lo! how goddessly dost thou seem
Smiling beneath yon palm tree shade,
Whilst air with bloom and flame doth teem,
And music rings where'er thou tread.
Though flowers fade in fleeting time;
Thy beauty shall e'er live in prime.


When the hours of Day were numbered,
When Phoebus homeward lumbered,
Then the air with music filled!
Lovely twilight, thou hast thrilled
My sad and lonely heart.

The sky was stained all rosy red,
The golden gleam would soon have fled;
Breezes whispered, and trees did sway,
Birds twittered on their homeward way,
"Good morrow, dear Twilight," quoth they.

From the fields rang the children's cries,
Like sweet sounds pealing from the skies,
Slowly and sadly the church bells tolled -
Calling the cattle back to the fold.
Hark! was that the cowherd's song?

The sun sank low; shadows smoothly flowed;
Fainter and dimmer the twilight glowed,
Till above that palm tree hung
A silvery moon, while Morpheus sung
A serenade 'neath an arch o'stars.


How fleet is fugitive swift-footed Time,
Eludes away as soft as phantom breath,
Upon its pinions steals my youthful prime
And leaves no vestiges of name or wealth;
Save plaintive thoughts that memories can hold
With ling'ring Death and sere Age poise aloft
Whilst dreaming, envisages days of old.
Ah! Could my leaven'd Muses persuade soft
And lure this winging runner to retrace
His course? . . . But Oh, what mortal's speeches fair
But travails full and deeds need mend its pace?
This life, unused, unworked, will e'er impair.
From womb to womb, from dust to dust we go,
Time's but Life's lord, on whom rests bliss or woe.


Alone, I rove alone
Amid the green, green lea.
0 sad! is sad the tone
Of birds' sweet melody.

And gently light wind groans
Among the rustling leaves.
And sorely bright stream moans.
Above, the pale sky grieves.

Mournfully tolls the knell,
I pause and list and sigh
Ding-dong, ding-dong, the bell
Is telling night is nigh.

Toll on, thou doleful bell!
I would think thou could tell
Men, birds and brutes as well
This earth is but a hell.

Despair and stillness cling,
Around my heart around,
The saddest human being
That earth has ever found.

I sight my hopes fading
As yonder twilight must.
I hear my heart crying
'Cause hopes have proved but dust.

O sorrow, deep sorrow
Full many a tear I've shed.
And yearning the morrow
Should see me cold and dead.

Gone are my bliss and dreams.
Gone, too, my life and health
And slowly, slowly seems,
My longing hour of Death.

Adieu, dear world, adieu!
Alas, we must depart,
Though gone, I still love you,
With all my soul and heart.


O dainty Moon, O Goddess bright!
That trips the starry clime tonight,
And strews her argent flux from high
And silvery stains the broad blue sky,
And palls a snowy gown on Earth
And gives the stars a newer birth;
Oh tell me, Goddess, this very hour
Ere thou complete thy aerial tour,
What ails thee, Queen? and why so pale?
Aweary of thy path to scale?
Or touched by amorous sad tales
Of nightingales from yonder vales?
O why art thou so woebegone?
So melancholy? All alone?
E'en sentry stars that poise around
All gaze with blazing eyes profound.
Then from thy lunar realm shrink
And awestruck they, to eastward sink.
E'en baseless clouds like driven snows,
Molest and veil thy queenly brows!
The night-birds too with plaintive lays
Carol and laving in thy rays.
'Mid bowers high the night-winds sigh
And trembling think if thou should die.
The trees, the herbs, the flowers pale
All pensive share thy woeful bale.
And sobbing with the drifting gales
Above the hills, below the dales.
The trees have shed their leafy tears
And willows weep full many years
To see thy visage wan and hoar
And nevermore will skyward soar.
Full many an ardent love lorn
And many a rhyming bard forlorn,
Beneath thy silvery beams hath pined,
To thee, their heavy souls resigned.
But, O dear Selene, the fair,
The chaste, the bright, the debonair.
O ope thy frozen lips and pour
Thy heart-locked grievance evermore!
O let there be sunshine blooming
Over thy pallid face. Then ring
Ye bells and sing ye birds and all.
The teens disperse; the weals install!
No more will thou then solitary.
For thee shall I keep company.
Pine not, O Goddess, for thy love.
Love's but false passions, chatters wove.
Thou haply mourn our malignity?
Rejoice! for there is no remedy.
Fear not cold war or warm conflict
Men's morals, all, are things derelict.
Pax and her doves no more are seen,
But Ate and Mars now tread the green,
Which turns to sulphurous red bed
With groaning wound and gasping dead.
O Moon, mope not these sights profane.
Men are creatures, e'er vile, insane.


Ah, Land of Beauty! My weary heart aches
And pines for thy blessed light far away
For thy eternal Spring forever makes
A heavenly earth 'neath the golden ray.

Oh, Malaya! my happy native land
Where rubber, tin and wealth do most abound,
When, O when, shall I to thy holy-land
Return, where my sweetheart in thee is found?

Oft in my mind's eye sight, thy apparel green
Dights with sweet flowers, herbs and melodies,
Aloft looms a fairyland in gold sheen.
Then yearn to blend e'er with fond memories,
My heart melts. O beautiful Malaya
To thee I'll sing and offer my prayer.


Upon the lofty pinions of Poesy,
In such a transport of boundless ecstasy,
Felt I my spirit then did skyward soar
Higher and higher still, my soul it bore.
Skimming o'er the transparent air and sky
Where massy clouds rolled meditating by,
Till reaching the pinnacles of heaven,
The abode of Gods, the Bards' last haven,
Then like a new star swimming to its fold
I stood among the galaxy poets of old!


When honour, love, youth, aspiration fled,
With heart-breaking sighs, my gay spirit's dead.
Past lingers in thought, visioned in sad dream.
O my golden days! alas, Time like stream
Flows on and on, ne'er turns her head and way.
Here, men have come, lived, and gone, day and day.
So things have changed; strange events have occurred.
Poor Ancient decays; fine New is preferred.
Thus Life's great wheels forever turn.
O God, let me to happy Past return!


Out from her oriental couch aloft
When high cerulean vault was star-studded,
Sweet pallid orb in argent raiment soft
Up clomb the celestial space and shrouded
By thin amethyst veils of ebbing clouds
That weaved a golden halo for her crown
She strewed her frosty flux 'neath starry crowds
And palled the briny robe with snowy gown.
As one enthralled by incantations sank,
Her stormy gales gathered the moon-lit sea
Lay slumbering whilst silv'ry waves heaved and shrank
Like monstrous breasts that throbbing ceaselessly.
When Zephyr ruffled starry mirrored floor,
A thousand, thousand burnished shafts did glance.
When crawling tides kissed craggy, sandy shore,
A thousand, thousand glowing drops did dance.
Wave after wave, in lines of frothy spray
Rolled surging, splashing, towering, bright and free;
Like ranks of horsemen charging for the fray
And buffered, with hoarse din eternally,
Against bleak rocks whose horns split 'to showers
Of sapphire hue, the sparking flood adrift.
A h! Serenades trilled from leafy bowers
And opiated sea-breeze on its pinions swift.
O listen to the billows' mighty roar
On the moon-blanch'd pebbles and murky coasts,
Where twinkled like some ghostly stars afar,
Lights from some hovels or boats' harboured posts.
Through calm embalmed Nights, insects lullaby
Livelong while warbling birds, anthems lovelorn,
All wooing extolled the moon to the sky.
Full many a plaintive number overworn
From verdurous groves, grots and sedgy verge,
All harmonised a Nature's symphony;
Into this moon-tinged liquid air did merge
Swelling the teeming sphere with melody.
Eftsoon the sylvan wights to dream reposed,
While hoary swards and mellow fields and sea
All desolate to silv'ry rays exposed.
Save phantoms, nymphs and fays lurked wandering free.
And Nature full of beauty lying hushed.
The night-winds winnowed wantonly on high
Conspired with clouds ascattering dews which crushed
Young subtilest flowers that quiv'ring died,
And Beauty dissolved unto nothingness.
With lacteal mists, grey fells were canopied.
Sequestered sepulchres in wilderness
One by one oped, the apparitions freed.
Among the shady vales they glided
Where the hooting owls hovered solemnly,
And where mercuric rills endless chided
Impelling stones with metallic ditty.
The waxen orb now all alone and low
Scanned adown the earth with languid eyes
And ravished, sight'd companion below
To cheer her last few lapses through the skies.
Happy the man endow'd with benison
Of viewing the fair moonlit Port Dickson.


How seldom do the rarest flowers climb
And, when they blow, are swept away by Time.
How altered are landscape's hue and feature
'Twixt seasons, by everchanging Nature.
So too our lottery and station are guided
B y this law of yore. Too soon divided
Are our learned companions from our midst
Thus plucking off our sunshine, youth and zest.
Adieu, dear friends, for time is mature now;
All's set for sailing thy ship, Endeavour.
Plough yon watery mountains with might and main.
Success will soon in sight to crown thy pain.
In foreign soil and alien clime wilt thou
Cherish our memories and friendship's vow?
Let's heart to heart be bound, though far apart,
Nor shall by Time's stout arms our thoughts depart.
Farewell, dear friends, farewell, with aching heart
And dewy eyes let us shake hands and part.
With our banners high and blaring trumpets
To victory charge thy scientific onsets.


This is the crêche, wherein Eternal Spring
First dawns her sapient lores, whose sacred flame
Imbues mortal clays of Life's prime budding
To make harmonious pilgrimage to Fame.
Futurity beholds with insight glee
With hopeful thoughts of everlasting peace
Crowns with laurels, affluence, liberty;
Arts flourish, science blooms, communal strifes cease.
Malaya shall reap thy rich harvest free.
Let thy feeble rays guide her dreary way
O thou fresh glimmer of the darksome sea!
Then on thy feet, this mused verse I'll lay.


O Death, deliver this day my sick soul
From this dread world to dark Oblivion's shores.

Across the Stygian River shall I go
To Hades, alack, to heal my bleeding sores.

O Lucifer, thou art welcome this hour
For gladly now my spirit yields to thee,

Since this Life's pleasure, honour, sweet and sour
Are smoke and dust, when cold in earth lies she.

O darling mine, lone by the grave I cry
For all my dreams, my bliss with thee are dead.

I love thee always, dear, and crave to die
So may we roam again, and thee I'll wed.

But Oh, poor soul, what use these sighs and tears?
Despair and anguish shall enslave my years!


Christmas' heavenly chime
Vibrates thro' frozen air.
In sweet harmonious time
With tones full rich and fair.
Sprightly and merrily
The silver'd melody
Echoes and echoes till
Heaven and Earth doth fill.

'Twas when the sable night aloft
Cast forth her mantle gray
With mirthful Zephyr winging soft
One cold December day.
That Earth's eternal king was born,
Fashioned to redeem us forlorn.

The sapphire-glowing firmament
With golden Hesperus low
Smiled with diamonded eyes resplendent
While pearled-clouds sailing slow,
When Lo! 'Twas seen a giant star
Outshone the sil'very moon by far.
And glittered in the azure clime
'Cause Prince of Peace on earth that time.

Now mighty is the revelry!
And chorus chants to organs' tune,
Dancing feet, laughing hearts and free
R ing like another joyous peal
In candles' feeble light
On hallowed Christmas night.


Sweet Irene, what element hath in thee
Gorgeously modelled thy anatomy?
What magic paints or formulae resort
Acquired fancy of alien import?
Thou art as beautiful as things can shape,
As science can devise - Hollywood's ape!
Why, thy dyed boyish hair fits like a cap
On your Parisian perfumed head! Entrap'd
Between those bleeding lips, kissable and sweet
Gleam thy false incisors. With art discreet
Max Factor lends colour to thy face
That's minutely rouged, and lo, what angelic grace
Those cattish eyes within the orbits dance.
And brows well drawn, and stature elegance.
What snow on thy breast but thy Lux-scent'd skin
Revealed by tight meagre blouse, flimsy thin
That plunges deep into the milky vale
Where treasures the proudest breasts of female,
And enthral many a wolf his hungry stares,
Though some are voluptuously fashion'd with wares!
That slitting cheongsam thy gluteal region
Its secret bares and limbs all to vision
Exposed, curveous with well-proportionment.
Irene mine, pride not thy Jane's measurement
Or Monroe's heat-rousing gait or wiggle,
Time and Tide will brief thy rose and giggle.


My heart lies buried 'neath the deep.
My hopes shattered encaged in Hell.
My blithe spirits from body creep;
My tears roll thick; my health fast fell.
From morn to eve I sigh and weep,
Longing to hear my dying knell.
"Disappointment, my hopes thou sweep,
Thus prompt me to my narrow cell.
Cruel thou, sweet success from me keep
Makest this life an empty shell!"


                   Life is a cycle of movements
              Of harmonious systole and diastole,
                            Rhythmic as jazz,
                           Eternal and tireless.
           Cardiac stroke secondly, endlessly . . .
             Maketh God's creatures as creatures
             Feeding arteriovenous thoroughfares
                           Governing Life.
               Machinelike-valves ope and shut
                 Silent as the warm sticky current
                           Ejects and recedes.
Hark! whose voice cries, "Lub ... Dup.. . Lub. . Dup . . . "
                          Repeatedly, heartily.
               'Tis Life marching its earthly life-span.

                           A TRIBUTE

      Shrivelled men sinking through the tide
                Only orison-tinged therapy
         Procrastination of a new beginning.
      Hovering with sentient orbits . . . silent
 Invincible, stethoscope dangling, syringe armed
      A white-coat conspirator for aching birth
                           Wage on . . .
. . . Art soul-retaining, an answer in Life's eyes.
              Null with a load ectopic - yet
  Guardian the morbids, thy first-cum-last line.


Nirvana, O the magic hour supreme,
Enlighten this soul-searching earthsome pose
Hence to yon holy land beyond our dream,
Congregate at thy shrine, Heaven's repose.
Ephemeral hour, so fleet as sweeten'd breath,
Caroused in moment's bliss and joys of gold,
In a flash of an eye, as sure as death,
Recedes too soon the spirit 'to its fold.
There in the harrowing truth of the day,
A myriad untold discord fouls the way.
Ere this nebulous life of mine turns sour,
Bestow me, O God, this celestial hour.

                  ABOUT SKIN

             Some have thick skin,
              Some, papery thin.
  Some skins are coarse and stony,
       Like sands and stiff ebony.
 Yet other skins are soft and supple,
  Satin-smooth and fur-like gentle,
        A boon for aching vision;
        A challenge to temptation.
     Thus Beauty, Sex and Emotion
     All a-mirror'd in its reflection.
     Many a battle have been fought
 Many a charmer's affection sought,
     'Cause its texture and its shades
   Wee bit vary, of different makes.
'Tis strange how our lives and issues
        Oft arise from tiny tissues.


Tis when the magic hours of Night
       Of fairest fair and free,
That waxen moon in sil'vry bright
       Kisses the smiling sea.

The sea breeze roving to and fro
       Above the briny deep,
With piping serenades lulls low
       The nodding trees to sleep.

In pensive plight the paly clouds
       With fluttering fright do flee.
Swift, swashing, splashing surge enshrouds
       The lake, the shore, the lea.

Witch-fingered branches deadly pierce
       The glowing sphere on high,
Through crystal air doth oft transpierce
       Birds' far-off lullaby.

Under the silver-toned blue skies
       Beneath a shady tree,
Edward looks soft into the eyes
       Of his beloved Sally.

So gently, closely to his heart
       He holds her with his arms,
Together they their loves impart
       Under the moonlight charms.

He calls her with endearing names,
       His goddess, his life's star,
Within his burning heart, Love's flames
       Forever dart and soar.

Into her ears, his pledges pour,
       How he loves his Sally.
Into her heart his warm amour
       Instils the fair lady.

Fair Sally drown'd in ravished trance
       Of love and ecstasy.
Her eyes like glitt’ring waves that dance
       O'er wide and brimming sea.

Of raven's hue, her tresses fair,
       Like willows lithe and rich,
And floating in the winnow'd air,
       On her back, fall and twitch.

Her voice like tingling bell that chimes
       On hallowed Christmas night.
Her breath like noon's soft draught betimes
       That makes its windy flight.

No living wights, nor maids of yore
       Can e'er surpass Sally,
Her charms, her grace, the gods adore,
       Most beauteous fair lady.

A lone night-bird pours from a bough
       A lovelorn melody,
That opiates lovers' sense below
       Of Edward and Sally.

Sleeping fragrance of flowers
       And swelling mellow fruits,
Sails wafting through the leafy bowers
       And palsies Love's pursuits.

Eftsoon he takes her lily hand
       And mutters praises soft,
As they sit on the moon-blanch'd strand
       They scan the moon aloft.

The waves are dancing in their eyes,
       The billows bellow loud,
The stars are dangling in the skies,
       When Edward sighs aloud.

"O Sally fair, O Sally chaste,
       My humble heart's throned queen,
Thy vassal like the barren waste
       Under thy moonlight sheen.

"The waste all dreary and forlorn
       Weird, desolate and cold,
Where sun and wind above it scorn
       And daily vultures scold.

"Such is myself, shallow and base,
       Uncouth, ragged and crude,
My lothful sight may thee debase
       When it thy beams denude.

"Thou art a lily of the Strait,
       An angel from the moon,
That moves along with queenly gait,
       Among the bright festoon.

"Though I as low as desert wild
       And thou as high as sky,
Yet strew thy Love's light, full and mild
       On me, that lowly lie.

"O Sally mine, Time's tidal waves
       Are Lethe-wards ebbing on.
Spring lives awhile, then into graves
       She sinks in withered gown.

"Today the roses red do blow
       On Beauty's bowers high,
The morrow sees the flowers bow
       With age, and drooping, die.

"This night, this moon, these things we see
       How lovely and how bright!
Yet swift's the change that all these be
       That soon be wiped off sight.

"Thus, my love, revel while you may,
       Chasing the oozing hours
With Elysium bliss and Cupid gay
       Among moonlit arbours.

"Our bonds will break whenas the Strait
       Lies rot beneath the sun.
No pelf, nor time, nor aught will bait
       Me from my beloved one.

"Our love will glare like polar star
       Unshaken and lightsome;
Outlives our span-short lives by far,
       Cherished in my blossom.

"Love's full sublime, O Sally love,
       Of highest hallowed shrine.
And thou art Love in mortal cove
       Of fairest fair, divine.

"Albeit thy beauty's lease will o'er
       When time deflowers thee,
But I to thee will cleave fore'er
       Till days' eternity"

Thus speaks Edward with accents deep
       And staid intents and fears.
Poor Sally overjoyed doth weep.
       He kisses off her tears.

"O Edward, Edward, darling dear,
       My heart is fraught with joy,
To list to thine affections clear
       That none shall them destroy.

"Methinks thou art Adonis guised,
       So wise, so strong, so fair.
Too high my plain low self been prized,
       Whose wits and grace are bare.

"If I'm the moon in silv'ry bright
       That treads her nightly stroll,
Then thou, the sun in blinding light,
       The lord of moon and all.

"Ah! Edward, fend me 'neath thy wings,
       With thy true heart and arms.
A flower bare to rain and winds
       Too soon shall shed her charms.

"O thrice-crowned Queen, that reigns above,
       O look on me that bow,
Give me thy light, O Queen of Love,
       A boon for me endow.

"O tell me how to love my love
       To make his fondness worth.
O teach me how my love to prove
       To show 'tis not in dearth.

"Like weeping fountain evermore
       Its watery tears do spurt,
So let my passion oft restore
       My darling's love to court.

"Dear Edward, Time shall judge our vows
       Voiced here this charming night.
Let Morpheus, Venus, all avow
       Witnessed our lifelong plight."

She drops her tuneful tones and sighs,
       Poor pretty pale Sally.
Two glist'ning diamonds from her eyes
       Oozing down stealthily.

With bliss and sorrow interweave
       And with his lady love,
Gentle Edward gleams with belief
       And soothes his turtle-love.

"O weep not, Sally, goddess fair,
       As this empyreal night
Hath smiling chased the heart's despair,
       But left love, joy and delight.

"O Cynthia bright, strew forth thy ray
       Upon me and Sally.
O Spangled Host, thy shades display
       For my bonny lady.

"Let Zephyr pinion all the plants
       To sing for my Sally.
Let nightingale a sonnet chants
       In praise of my Sally.

"Let there be love and only love
       In the heart of Sally.
Let all the blessed saints above
       Guardians for my lady.

"O Sally love, my lily pure,
       My heart doth beam with glee,
To see thee smile, so sweet and sure
       Of my pledged constancy.

"When purple eve with saffron clouds
       Droops down the roseate sea,
On heaven's threshold, 'mid tidal thuds
       Meseems thy face I see.

"A face of gorgeous form and hue
       Brooding over the flood,
That gods and men thy hands both sue.
       For thee they shed their blood.

"Methinks I see thee trips o'er the foam,
       In flimsy flowing frock,
Like spirit of Love that dost roam
       On Neptune's bed and rock.

"Thy countenance like firmament
       Where two dark suns doth shine,
Glows like a sunset ornament
       Nature's best art refine!

"O Sally, 'tis Fortune's decree
       That thou and I should wed.
Earth's but a tomb, and I'll miss thee
       E'en though I'm old and dead."

So saying he draws nigh his sweet,
       And locks her in his breast.
Their eyes both greet, their lips doth meet,
       O what a pleasure blest!

He tastes her nect'rous lips so sweet,
       That he implores for more.
She blushes deep with much discreet,
       Whilst Time's pace they ignore.

The nightwinds blast with might and main,
       The moon is high and small,
The sea howls with rage and pain,
       When homewards then they stroll.

With hearts of lead and eyes of dew,
       And throats all choked with grief,
Each vow, each kiss they oft renew
       Ere they depart unlief.

VI The V.I. Web Page

Created: 11 December 2002.
Last update: 12 November 2015.

PageKeeper: Ooi Boon Kheng