by: Arthur Symons (1865-1945)
- ER cheeks are hot, her cheeks
- The white girl hardly breathes to-night,
- So faint the pulses come and go,
- That waken to a smouldering glow
- The morbid faintness of her white.
- What drowsing heats of sense, desire
- Longing and languorous, the fire
- Of what white ashes, subtly mesh
- The fascinations of her flesh
- Into a breathing web of fire?
- Only her eyes, only her mouth,
- Live, in the agony of drouth,
- Athirst for that which may not be:
- The desert of virginity
- Aches in the hotness of her mouth.
- I take her hands into my hands,
- Silently, and she understands;
- I set my lips upon her lips;
- Shuddering to her finger-tips
- She strains my hands within her hands.
- I set my lips on hers; they close
- Into a false and phantom rose;
- Upon her thirsting lips I rain
- A flood of kisses, and in vain;
- Her lips inexorably close.
- Through her closed lips that cling to mine,
- Her hands that hold me and entwine,
- Her body that abandoned lies,
- Rigid with sterile ecstasies,
- A shiver knits her flesh to mine.
- Life sucks into a mist remote
- Her fainting lips, her throbbing throat;
- Her lips that open to my lips,
- And, hot against my finger-tips,
- The pulses leaping in her throat.
POEMS BY ARTHUR SYMONS
"Bianca" is reprinted
from Poetica Erotica. Ed. T.R. Smith. New York: Crown