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 the Priest of Bel
By Francis Saltus Saltus (1849–1889)
(From Lot’s Wife, 1890)

    COME to me, all ye who burn
    For a passion in return!
There are perfumes on my body and fresh leaves upon my hair;
    I am sleek and very wise,
    I know woman’s softest sighs,        5
And my kisses warm and manly all the senses can ensnare.
    I am old, ay, very old,
    And my price is bricks of gold,
Being chief and holy master of the lovers of the town.
    I am high priest unto Bel,        10
    In the grace of Vul I dwell,
And the motion of my pleasure is a song and a renown!
    I have been the pampered slave
    Of King Amraphel, the grave,
I have swooned and slumbered often in King Chedorlaomer’s arms.        15
    There is gold within my house,
    There are jewels on my brows,
And my breast is warm and tender as an Arkite maiden’s charms!
    I have drugs to warm afresh
    The dull failings of the flesh,        20
I have grateful food and spices, and suave basams honey-pure,
    And when laggard from excess
    Of my amorous caress,
I will sing thee Nergal’s praises on the many-stringed kinoor.
    See! the dawn is coming soon;        25
    There’s slumber in the moon;
Hasten, passer! hasten, stranger! to my tent’s enticing shade.
    Be not tempted by the cry
    Of the zonahs strutting by,
For my kisses are far sweeter than the kisses of a maid!        30

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