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.
The Triumph of the Flesh
By George Moore (1852–1933)
(From Pagan Poems, 1881)

WE have passed from the regions of dreams and of vision
And the flesh is the flesh and the rose is the rose;
And we see but the absolute joy of the present
      In the Sunlight of beauty.
I am filled with carnivorous lust: like a tiger        5
I crouch and I feed on my beautiful prey:
There is nought in the monstrous world of Astarte
      So fair as thy body.
Let me lie, let me die on thy snow-coloured bosom,
I would eat of thy flesh as of delicate fruit,        10
I am drunk of its smell, and the scent of thy tresses
      Is as flame that devours.
Thou are demon and God, thou art hell, thou art Heaven,
Thou are love that is lust, thou art lust that is love,
And I see but the heavenly grace of thy body,        15
      A picture—a poem.
*        *        *        *        *
And the flesh is a soul, tho’ it be art eternal.

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