simply beautiful, and very moving... well done, my friend.
can i make a few very, very minor comments? (wincing as i say this, please don't hate me for criticizing such a beautiful poem?) as philip said, this IS C/A...
the meter seems a bit off in two lines. the first place it happens (in my opinion) is the line "his love is blazoned on his beaming smile." no doubt you intend it to be read as:
his LOVE is BLAZoned ON his BEAMing SMILE
i think this puts a little unnatural emphasis on "on". its easy to go into that line with the iambs pumping and say it your way, but i think the more natural stress here is as follows:
his LOVE is BLAZoned on his BEAMing SMILE
i have a similar "problem" with line 13 (if, indeed, i can say i have a "problem" with a poem i love, lol). as i read it, i can't help but think that "dark night" is an example of a (relatively rare) double-stressed foot (i know you know the term for it, i can't think of it just now). (actually there's three stesses in a row there, with the word "each" from the previous line.) no matter how many times i read the poem, i can't see how it can be read naturally without stressing both "dark" and "night". i also think the stress on the word "he" later in that same line is a trifle forced.
dark NIGHT when HE aWAKES and FEARS deFILE
i think more naturally reads:
DARK NIGHT[,] when he aWAKES and FEARS deFILE
you may be able to get away with line 9 (there may be ever so slight a natural emphasis on "on", in the middle of three otherwise unstressed syllables); and line 13 may work (although this is far less certain, in my opinion) -- but the two lines together put the poem's meter the merest, slightest, most miniscule tad -- the tadliest tad -- on the awkward side of the scale, in my opinion.
but so what? none of this is this is any important, really, with a poem as powerful and moving as this one, and i kind of like the triple emphasis of "each dark night". i have no blessed idea how to fix any of my perceived problems anyway; as it'd probably cause more harm than good, you're better off following munda's advice and leaving it alone. and as no-one else has said anything about the meter, it's all probably another example of "Never Mind Jenni" (a fun game for folks of all ages, lol).
one more thing? i agree with philip's suggested punctuation changes entirely (although it think they might exacerbate the "problems" i see with the meter.)
please don't get me wrong, jim...i absolutely adore this piece. in that regard, all i can do is reiterate what so many have said before.
thanks for sharing it with us; i'll shut up now, lol.
[This message has been edited by jenni (edited 01-06-2000).]