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 Love Lesson
By Thomas Burke (1886–1945)
(From The Song Book of Quong Lee of Limehouse, 1920)

LAST night I dreamed of the maid with yellow curls,
She came to me in the room above my shop,
And we two were alone, freed from the laws of day.
I held her then to myself.
I took from her her clothing, garment by garment,        5
And watched them fall about her feet—
White petals of a flower.
And I drew from her to myself her thoughts, one by one,
As often I had wished, till all of her was mine.
And then I was sad, for nothing was left to love.        10
And quickly I clothed her again, garment by garment,
And gave her back her thoughts, one by one,
And awoke in joy.
I was glad that the dream was a dream,
And that all of her was not mine;        15
For I had learned
That love released from bond, and unburdened of its fetters,
Is love no longer.

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