On the Canyon-Side

Clark Ashton Smith

Forgotten lies the world we knew,
One mile behind the looming hill;
And here, beside a laurel-darkened rill,
Slow-wandering, we have found
A fern-lost boulder large enough for two
That sit with arms enwound.

Upon your pale, delicious throat
Like a torn lace the shadows stir;
While, with a sharpened longing, I defer
The kiss that fain would fall;
And softly touch your yielded wrist, and note
How loud your pulses call.

Syringa-blossoms, frail and old,
Swept by the swiftly dying air,
Fall like a fragrant snow, and in your hair
Two poising petals rest;
And a great moth with wings of mottled gold
Pauses before your breast.

Now, while the world is far and dim,
Now, while the afternoon is new,
Reveal, I pray, the rapture that is you:
Hoard not the least caress,
Nor the last whiteness of the breast and limb,
From love made fetterless.

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