TO . . .
by: Francis Saltus (1846-1889)
- LEEP and
dream, lissome maid, while in rapture
- I caress thy grand poem of flesh:
- While I toy with each rich purple mesh
- Or gnarled tresses: when striving to capture
- All the hot biting odors from lips--
- Half apart with the sweetness that slips
- From thy dimpled white smilings, sleep-fresh.
- 'Tis the perfect round curve of thy shoulder,
- And thy sleek supple flanks I admire,
- For thy moonish-white skin doth inspire
- My hot, vexed, restless gaze to pierce bolder;
- For thou sleepest, and red is thy dream
- With the Naphla of lust, and its gleam
- From the snows of thy breasts hurl its fire.
- Nay, awake not, nor turn, till I press thee,
- For thy sleep is consoling as night.
- And thy calm dreams shall taste the fire-night
- Of love's blendings, as mad, I caress thee,
- And thy white form with red kisses mark--
- Till thine eyes wake from lethargies dark--
- To the glamours and splendors of light.
- Then from dream-bliss to life-bliss arisen,
- Thine hot tears, my hot tears will dispute,
- Then thy low pant sounds softer than lute
- To my ear; and thy bare arms imprison--
- A no longer wild phantom of sighs,
- For thou closest thy large blurred eyes,
- And liest wond'ring, nude, pallid, and mute!
- Let my kisses then follow incessant,
- O'er thy lips, o'er thy soft cheek of fur:
- Let them moisten, as sultry they err
- The black shade of thy silk brows crescent--
- While I breathe the mysterious air,
- From thy chaos of undulate hair,
- Vague and dreamy as memories of myrrh.
POEMS BY FRANCIS SALTUS
"To..." is reprinted from
Poetica Erotica. Ed. T.R. Smith. New York: Crown Publishers,