Poems of Andrew Lang
[The author (if he can be so styled) awoke from a restless sleep,
with the first stanza of the following piece in his mind. He has
no memory of composing it, either awake or asleep. He had long
known the perhaps Pythagorean fable of the bean-juice, but
certainly never thought of applying it to an amorous
correspondence! The remaining verses are the contribution of his
I cannot write, I may not write,
I dare not write to thee,
But look on the face of the moon by night,
And my letters shalt thou see.
For every letter that lovers write,
By their loves on the moon is seen,
If they pen their thought on the paper white,
With the magic juice of the bean!
Oh, I had written this many a year,
And my letters you had read.
Had you only told me the spell, my dear,
Ere ever we twain were wed!
But I have a lady and you have a lord,
And their eyes are of the green,
And we dared not trust to the written word,
Lest our long, long love be seen!
"Oh, every thought that your heart has thought,
Since the world came us between,
The birds of the air to my heart have brought,
With no word heard or seen."
'Twas thus in a dream we spoke and said
Myself and my love unseen,
But I woke and sighed on my weary bed,
For the spell of the juice of the bean!