“Yet resolute I put my love away.
It could not live in this amazing day.
Love is the lotus that is sickly sweet,
That makes men drunken, and betrays their feet” [via]
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- “I lifted up my eyes. What soul stood there, Fronting my path? Tall, stately, delicate, A woman fairer than a pomegranate. A silver spear her hands of lotus bear, One shaft of moonlight quivering and straight. She pointed to the East with flashing eyes: ‘Thou canst not see her–but my Queen shall rise.’ Bowed head and beating heart, with feet unsure I passed her, trembling, for she was too pure. I could have loved her. No: she was too wise. Her presence was to gracious to endure. ‘She did not bid me go and chain me to her,’ I cried, comparing.”
- “I have an idol wrought of stainless gold Before whose feet I bow, in whose delight I am content to live, whose spells of might Are smiles that gleam, are tears that glisten cold On the fair cheek that blushes if I praise; Are warm ripe kisses in the softer hours When love is perfect blossom of sweet flowers, Are shadowed glances of pure love light rays From clear blue eyes, are wonderful caresses When love is golden autumn of sweet fruit. What other worship can usurp my days When I may lie amid her sunny tresses Enraptured by the music of her lute One long calm love, one heart’s delight always?”
- “Then surged the maddening tide Of my intention. Onward! Let me run! Thy steed, O Moon! Thy chariot, O Sun! Lend me fierce feet, winged sandals, wings as wide As thine, O East wind! And the goal is won! Was ever such a cruel solitude?”
- “Oh! my pure heart! Adulterous love began So subtly to identify the man With its own perfumed thoughts. So steals the grape Into the furtive brain–a spirit shape Kisses my spirit as no woman can. I love her–yes; and I have no escape. I never spoke, I never looked! But she Saw through the curtains of the soul of me, And loved me also! It is very well. I am well started on the road to Hell.”
- “Yet the thought chilled me as I touched the reins. Ah! the poor horse, he will not. So remains, Divided in his love. With mastered tears I stride toward the parapet. My ears Catch his low call; and now a song complains. The bridge is bleeding and the river hears. Ah! God! I cannot live for pity deep Of that heart-quelling chant–I could not sleep Ever again to think of it. I close My hearing with my fingers. Gently goes A quivering foot above them as they weep– I weep, I also, as the river flows. Slowly the bridge subsides, and I am flung Deep in the tears and terrors never sung. I swim with sorrow bursting at my breast. Yet I am cleansed, and find some little rest. Still from my agonised unspeaking tongue Breaks: I must go, go onward to the quest.”