The Hidden Paradise

Clark Ashton Smith

Our passion is a secret paradise—
Eden of lotos and the fruitful date,
With silence walled and held undesecrate
By man or prying seraph: we are wise

As any god and goddess, who have wrung
From roseal fruitage of a bough forbidden
The happy wine we drink, we drink unchidden,
Deep in the vales where vernal leaves are young,

And the first poppies loiter. . . . Though the breath
Of all the gods a bolted storm prepare,
Till blood-red gloom of thunders blind the sun,
Shall we not turn with clinging kisses there,
And, laughing, quaff some dreamless wine of death—
Triumphant still, in mere oblivion ?

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