What have I to say to you When we shall meet? Yet— I lie here thinking of you. The stain of love Is upon the world. Yellow, yellow, yellow, It eats into the leaves, Smears with saffron The horned branches that lean Heavily Against a smooth purple sky. There is no light— Only a honey-thick stain That drips from leaf to leaf And limb to limb Spoiling the colours Of the whole world. I am alone. The weight of love Has buoyed me up Till my head Knocks against the sky. See me! My hair is dripping with nectar— Starlings carry it On their black wings. See, at last My arms and my hands Are lying idle. How can I tell If I shall ever love you again As I do now?
First published in Poems 1916.
Of the poem, Williams said, "I was thinking of Demuth's picture of the sky over the horizon." Despite its simple beginnings, "A Love Song" went through multiple revisions—to the point that Williams sent a second draft to the literary journal Poetry after Ezra Pound had already forwarded an earlier one to the editor.