Douglas Brooke Wheelton Sladen

Salopia Inhospitalis

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TOUCH not that maid:
She is a flower, and changeth but to fade.
Fragrant is she, and fair
As any shape that haunts this lower air;
In form as graceful and as free
As honeysuckles and the lilies be;
Insensible, and shrinking from caress
As flowers, which you peril when you press.
Gaze not on her;
She is a being of another sphere.
Brilliant is she, and bright
As any star illuminate at night;
Of stuff as sober and as fine
As hers whose glory through the moon doth shine;
Unliker to come down to this thy love
Than any orb that ’s fixed for aye above.
Heed her no more:
She is a gem whose heart thou canst not bore;
Glistering is she, and grand
As any stone that decks a monarch’s hand;
In face as free from flaw or stain
As diamond from mine, or pearl from main:
But she thy fire and fever never felt,
For adamant can neither waste nor melt.

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Douglas Brooke Wheelton Sladen