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.
A Song: “For what have you sought my love”
By Michael Strange (Blanche Oelrichs) (1890–1950)
(From Poems, 1919)

FOR what have you sought my love,
Along those flashing wastes of passion?
Who move so wearily as the dawn’s unwilling step
Over-stamped in ruins of unlimited woe.
O what crucifix you, tortured        5
Into nailing yourself against?
That your arms are become so attenuate
As those stark supplicating limbs of nightmare.
I wonder, have you assaulted life in darkness
And whispering        10
I need you so! oh let me—
Yet when the spear entering, nailing you
Into frantic submission,
You crying out from the very center nerve
Of such ecstasy, I have fear!        15
Since you selling then into bondage
What you might surmise only—
And for the witchery of moments.
Since you denying of yourself
More than you could have known        20
Before self-betrayal.
And all in order to induce
Those scarlet wings of appalling lips
To glisten, close, across your mouth.
Yet when this tease of pleasure        25
Titillating curious truth-stained exclamations out of you
And their sense languishing mateless unanswered along the air—
Ah, then you turning to regard
The gracious youth of your sleeping love
Alongside of your waking, ageless, heart.        30

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