Maurice Thompson


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Her mouth is like a dewy rose
That blows, but will not open quite;
Like flame turned down, her long hair glows
In thin, curled currents softly bright;
Her breasts and throat are marble-white.

Her lips will not have any kiss;
They draw away, they flash a smile,--
Half bashfulness, half scorn it is,
A silent ripple.... All the while
She meditates some charming wile.

Her feet below her drapery shine
Like roses under clinging sprays,
When, late in summer, lolls the vine;--
Like flag-leaves in long August days,
To moods perverse her body sways.

Her breath is keen and sweet as nard;
Her limbs move like a stream flowing
Among smooth stones. A lithe young pard
Is not more quick than she to spring
To guard or capture anything.

She is a snare, a subtle lure,--
A lily on a whirlpool's rim.
She is as dangerously pure
As fire.... She revels in a dream
Wherein the daintiest fancies swim.

She feasts upon my pain, and turns
Her pink ear up to catch my sighs,
And every word I speak. She yearns
To see me die.... Her great gray eyes
Are deep as seas and over-wise.

Ah, over-wise those strange deep eyes!
They master me, they take my breath;
In them a nameless mystery lies....
They burn with life that joy bringeth,
They gleam through shining mists of death.

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Maurice Thompson