Secret Love

Clark Ashton Smith

(From Christophe des Laurières)

Hung round with heavy silence fold on fold,
Thy love, within my veiled and votive heart,
Is like a darkling Venus, shrined apart
In some lost city legendless and old
Whose mobled walls and domes of blinded gold
Lapse in the sands of Syria; none may start
The antique doors, and tapestries of art
Where all the lost luxurious dreams are told,

To see, within a spikenard-scented room,
The gleam of clear marmoreal breast and limb—
The goddess, with her crescent mouth upturned
To meet the kiss of Adon in the gloom;
Her loins grown languid with a dream of him
For whom their pale Pentelic altar burned.

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