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.
Sonnets to Aurelia
XIII. “Sometimes I think you know not what love is”
By Robert Nichols (1893–1944)
(From Aurelia & Other Poems, 1920)

SOMETIMES I think you know not what love is
  But only pang of amorous delight:
The terrible resuscitation of the kiss,
  And the prolonged love-agonies of the night.
Oh, when I so do think, then I could sear        5
  These loving lips with the consuming coal,
Submit these limbs to the machine to tear
  And ruin my body to secure your soul.
For rather would I perish as a man,
  And hateful as a maniac seem to you,        10
Than that our joy, which in true love began,
  Should, in abuse, turn to its birth untrue.
  Wherefore take heed lest, in your passion strong,
  Your acts read right but your intention wrong.

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