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.
To …
By Francis Saltus Saltus (1849–1889)
(From Honey and Gall, 1873)

SLEEP and dream, lissome maid, while in rapture
  I caress thy grand poem of flesh;
  While I toy with each rich purple mesh
Or gnarled tresses: when striving to capture
  All the hot biting odors from lips—        5
  Half apart with the sweetness that slips
From thy dimpled white smilings, sleep-fresh.
’Tis the perfect round curve of thy shoulder,
  And thy sleek supple flanks I admire.
  For thy moonish-white skin doth inspire        10
My hot, vexed, restless gaze to pierce bolder;
  For thou sleepest, and red is thy dream
  With the naphtha of lust, and its gleam
From the snows of thy breast hurls its fire.
Nay, awake not, nor turn, till I press thee,        15
  For thy sleep is consoling as Night.
  And thy calm dreams shall taste the fire-might
Of Love’s blendings, as mad, I caress thee,
  And thy white form with red kisses mark—
  Till thine eyes wake from lethargies dark—        20
To the glamours and splendors of light.
Then from dream-bliss to Life-bliss arisen,
  Thine hot tears, my hot tears will dispute,
  Then thy low pant sounds softer than lute
To my ear; and thy bare arms imprison—        25
  A no longer wild phantom of sighs,
  For thou closest thy large blurrèd eyes,
And liest wond’ring, nude, pallid, and mute!
Let my kisses then follow incessant,
  O’er thy lips, o’er thy soft cheek of fur:        30
  Let them moisten, as sultry they err
The black shade of thy silk brows’ crescent—
  While I breathe the mysterious air,
  From thy chaos of undulate hair,
Vague and dreamy as memories of myrrh.        35

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