Entreaty

Come not so near, Heart of my hungering heart.
Stand one winged arrow's length from me apart.
Let one long uncurled tendril of the vine
Measure the space between your face and mine.

O Love, I tremble lest my will grow weak,
If your deep honey-breath caress my cheek.
How shall my sacrificial strength compete
Against a foe so deadly and so sweet?

Save me from the keen rapture of your touch,
My courage, Love, cannot endure e'en such
Light pressure as the zephyrs' kiss that stirs
The dream of slumbrous moon-kissed nenuphars.

Lower your eyelids, O my heart's delight.
Have mercy on my dimmed and dazzled sight
Go farther from me still. I cannot bear
The wandering perfume of your windblown hair.

Leave me, O Love, in God's compassionate name,
Ere once again the old, blind, ravening flame
Smite me and slay in a consuming sea
Of dread desire and bitter ecstasy.
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