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
XXVII. “I must remember now how once I woke”
By Robert Nichols (1893–1944)
(From Aurelia & Other Poems, 1920)

I MUST remember now how once I woke
  To find the harsh lamplight stream upon her bed,
The ceiling tremble in its giddy smoke,
  And on the wall the agile spider spread,
To hear the reverberate vault of silence shake        5
  Beneath the hollow crash of midnight’s toll,
Whose profound strokes waned impotent to break
  The charnel stillness of the city’s soul.
These I remember, but would more forget
  What is most fixed, whereby I am undone,        10
How white, how still you lay, though shuddering yet
  In the last luxury of oblivion,
  As if of Death you had taken love long denied,
  With on your face the bliss of suicide.

  THE BLACK MOUNTAINS, 23rd Nov., 1919;
      OXFORDSHIRE, 16th Feb., 1920.

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