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.
By Arthur Symons (1865–1945)
(From London Nights, 1895)

I KNOW the woman has no soul, I know
  The woman has no possibilities
  Of soul or mind or heart, but merely is
The masterpiece of flesh: well, be it so.
It is her flesh that I adore; I go        5
  Thirsting afresh to drain her empty kiss.
  I know she cannot love; it is not this
My vanquished heart implores in overthrow.
Tyrannously I crave, I crave alone,
  Her perfect body, Earth’s most eloquent        10
    Music, divinest human harmony;
  Her body now a silent instrument,
    That ’neath my touch shall wake and make for me
The strains I have but dreamed of, never known.

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