Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
Song of Ramesram Temple Girl
By Laurence Hope (Adela Florence Nicolson) (1865–1904)
(From Last Poems, 1905)

NOW is the season of my youth,
  Not thus shall I always be,
Listen, dear Lord, thou too art young,
  Take thy pleasure with me.
My hair is straight as the falling rain,        5
  And fine as morning mist,
I am a rose awaiting thee
  That none have touched or kissed.
        Do as thou wilt with mine and me,
          Beloved, I only pray,        10
        Follow the promptings of thy youth.
          Let there be no delay!
A leaf that flutters upon the bough,
  A moment, and it is gone,—
A bubble amid the fountain spray,—        15
  Ah, pause, and think thereon;
For such is youth and its passing bloom
  That wait for thee this hour,
If aught in thy heart incline to me
  Ah, stoop and pluck thy flower!        20
        Come, my Lord, to the temple shade,
          Where cooling fountains play,
        If aught in thy heart incline to love
          Let there be no delay!
Many shall faint with love of me        25
  And I shall slake their thirst,
But Fate has brought thee hither to-day
  That thou shouldst be the first.
Old, so old are the temple-walls,
  Love is older than they;        30
But I am the short-lived temple rose,
  Blooming for thee to-day.
        Thine am I, Prince, and only thine,
          What is there more to say?
        If aught in thy heart incline to love        35
          Let there be no delay!

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