“WHEN I think of the hundreds of women I have loved from time to time,
White throats and living bosoms where a kiss might creep or climb,
Smooth eyes and trembling fingers, faint lips or murderous hair,
All tunes of love’s own music, most various and rare;
When I look back on life, as a mariner on the deep
Sees, tranced, the white wake foaming, fancies the nereids weep;
As, on a mountain summit in the thunders and the snow,
I look to the shimmering valley and weep: I loved you so!” [via]
“The blue skies focus, as a burning bowl,
The restless passion of the universe
Into our mutual anger and distress,
To be forbidden (the Creator’s curse)
To comprehend the other’s loveliness.
We cannot grasp the ecstasy of this;
Only we strain and struggle and renew
The utter bliss of the unending kiss,
The mutual pang that shudders through and through,
Repeated and repeated, as the light
Can build a partial palace of the day” [via]
“IN middle music of Apollo’s corn
She stood, the reaper, challenging a kiss;
The lips of her were fresher than the morn,
The perfume of her skin was ambergris;
The sun had kissed her body into brown;
Ripe breasts thrown forward to the summer breeze;
Warm tints of red lead fancy to the crown,
Her coils of chestnut, in abundant ease,
That bound the stately head. What joy of youth
Lifted her nostril to respire the wind?
What pride of being? What triumphal truth
Acclaimed her queen to her imperial mind?” [via]
“Again the cursed cry: ‘What quest is this?
Is it worth heaven in thy lover’s kiss?
A queen, a queen, to kiss and never tire!
Thy queen, quick-breathing for your twin desire!’
I shudder, for the mystery of bliss;
I go, heart crying and a soul on fire!” [via]
“A spirit walking in a dream, I went
To the high throne&mdsah;they shook the firmament
With foolish cheers. I knelt before the queen
And wept in silence. Then, as it had been
And angel’s voice and touch, her face she bent,
Lifted and kissed me&mdsah;oh! her lips were keen!
Her voice was softer than a virgin’s eyes:
‘Go! my true knight: for thither, thither lies
The only road for thee; thou hast a prayer
Wafted each hour&mdsah;my spirit will be there!’
Too late I knew what subtle Paradise
Her dreams and prayers portend: too fresh, too fair!
I turned more wretched than myself knew yet.
I told my nameless pain I should forget
Its shadow as it passed.” [via]
“O desecrated lovers! O divine
Passionate martyrs, virgin unto death!
O kissing daughters of the unfed brine!
O sisters of the west wind’s pitiful breath,
There is One that pitieth!” [via]
“They kiss the spiritual dead, they pass
Like mists uprisen from the frosty moon,
Like shadows fleeting in a seer’s glass,
Beckoning, yearning, amorous of the noon
When earth dreams on in swoon.” [via]
“My lips are fervent, as in prayer,
Thy lips are parted, as to kiss:
My hand is clenched upon the air,
Thy hand’s soft touch, how sweet it is!
The wind is amorous of the sea;
The sea’s large limbs to its embrace
Curl, and thy perfume curls round me,
An incense on my eager face.” [via]
“So in our lusts, the monstrous burden borne
Heavy within the womb, we wait the morn
Of its fulfillment. Thus eternity
Wheels vain wings round us, who may never die,
But cling as hard as serpent’s wedlock is,
One writhing glory, an immortal kiss.” [via]