“I love you now again with an undivided song.
Because I can never love you, I cannot do you wrong.
I saw in your dying embraces the birth of a new embrace;
In the tears of your pitiful faces, another Holier Face.
Unknowing it, undesiring, your lips have led me higher;
You have taught me purer songs that your souls did not desire;
You have led me through your chambers, where the secret bolt was drawn,
To the chambers of the Highest and the secrets of the Dawn!
You have brought me to command you, and not to be denied;
You have taught me in perfection to be unsatisfied;
You have taught me midnight vigils, when you smiled in amorous sleep;
You have even taught a man the woman’s way to weep.” [via]
“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]
“Osiris! Orient godhead! let me still
Rest in the dawn of knowledge, ever slaking
My lips and throat where yon rose-glimmering hill,
The Mountain of the East, its lips is taking
To Thy life-lips: I hear Thy keen voice thrill;
Arise and shine! the clouds of earth are breaking!” [via]
“I tired not of the tigress limbs and lips—
Only, my soul was weary of itself,
Being so impotent, who only sips
The dewdrops from the flower-cup of an elf,
Not comprehending the mysterious sea
Of black swift waters that can drink it up,
Not trusting life to its own ecstasy,
Not mixing poison with the loving-cup.
I, maker of mad rhymes, the reaper she!
We lingered by a day upon the lawn.” [via]
“I watched, a leopard, stealthy in the corn,
As if a tigress held herself above;
My body quivered, eager to be torn,
Stung by the snake of some convulsive love!
The leopard changed his spots; for in me leapt
The mate, the tiger. Murderous I sprang
Across the mellow earth: my senses swept,
One torrent flame, one soul-dissolving pang.
How queenly bent her body to the grip!
How lithe it slips, her bosom to my own!
The throat leans back, to tantalise the lip:—
The sudden shame of her is overthrown!” [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]
“He did not ask me how I sped: disdain
Curled his old lips: he said one bitter thing.
‘You crossed the bridge—no man’s heart trod you there?’
Then crossed his breast in uttering some prayer:
‘I pray you follow of your courtesy,
My lord!’ I followed very bitterly.
“Likes you the sword I gave?” I did not dare
Answer one word. My soul was hating me.
He bade me draw. I silently obeyed.
My eye shirked his as blade encountered blade.
I was determined he should take my life.” [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]
“Then, shameful sisterhood of earth’s disdain,
Your lips shall speak your hearts, and understand;
Your lovers shall assuage the amorous pain
With spiritual lips more keen and bland,
And ye shall take God’s hand.” [via]