Amor Aeternalis

Clark Ashton Smith

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O Love, thou Judas of the martyred soul!
Thou pandar to the painted harlot, Life !
The rankest lies wherewith thy heart is rife
Too fulsomely illume thy lips' red scroll,
Whereon is writ the secret of our dole,
Of mortal woes immortalized by thee,
And wisdom, through thine olden perfidy,
Drawn back to life from some Lethean shoal.

Away! I know the weariness and fever
Kisses compounded of the world's old dust
With fire that feeds the seventh hell for ever!
The grave shall keep a gentler couch than thine,
Though round my heart the roots of nettles twine,
Wreathed in the ancient attitude of lust.

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