David Lewis Paget
A Lover's Verse
A sylph is passing my threshold stair,
Drifting her fragrance through the vine,
Promising dreams of a never-could-be
From the loss and the lapse of a former time.
She finds me adrift in a restless sleep
Alone at the reins of a phantom hearse,
She plants a kiss upon either cheek
'A gift, ' she says, 'from the universe.'
I try to wake, but she hushes me
And lays my hand on her silken thigh,
'Your words have won you a sweet respite
From the pains of the death in life, ' she sighs.
'I come to you from the Lords of Life
To offer you more than you thought enough.'
My lips are restless and seek her breasts
As she sips from my silver stirrup cup.
Her eyes are stars that the gods designed,
Her hair like straw as it brushes my cheek,
Her lips are strawberries, doused in wine
That I sip and kiss as she tries to speak.
'Why would you come to an old man's lair
To tease and taunt with your faultless skin,
An age has passed since I felt desire
But you stoke the coals of a cold come-in.'
'You tear my memory at the core
Where youth and beauty have always supped,
But life is cruel, for age's store
Holds only the empty stirrup cups.'
She strokes my cheek, she kisses my brow,
She places my hand between her thighs,
'The rose that blooms at your fingertips
Is the gift of the ages, ' she replies.
I wake at last in an empty room,
The bottle is dry, I sit and curse,
But then I smile in the gathering gloom
For the joy of the rose in a lover's verse.
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