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.
In a Moment
By Joseph T. Shipley (1893–1988)

A LEAP, flash of my body over the water’s dark,
Splash, and before her startled senses wake
To action, I am there!
  She stands, unconscious of her nudity.
Two needle-flies, joined and vibrating like a living harp,        5
Spun round her in their passion.
One was green-black, and one a vivid blue.
She watched them idly, while the water lapped—
Oh, so tenderly, not to alarm her—
Avidly at the cream-round of her thighs.        10
Then she turned idly, floating.
There is no human sight more fair
Than was her slender form; she lay
Like a kiss upon the water, and the sun
Lighted her face, and danced upon her breasts        15
As fairies dance on soft rose-petals strewn
For their queen’s wedding day.
It was our bridal that the sun proclaimed.
  Did the envious wind whisper warning?
Did that scurry of wild ducks to the farther shore        20
Startle her? She is no more a nymph
That dreams, adrift to nowhere, in a time
When water and wind and sun were sheltering gods;
She is no more incarnate heedless beauty
But a huddled timorous maiden I adore.        25
She stands, all-conscious of her nudity,
Shrunk for concealment, poised for flight.
Now—Now—I must leap!

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