The Litany of the Seven Kisses

Clark Ashton Smith

I kiss thy hands-thy hands. whose fingers are delicate and the pale as the petals of the white lotus.

I kiss thy hair, which has the lustre of black jewels, and is darker than Lethe, flowering by midnight through the moonless slumber of poppy-scented lands.

I kiss thy brow, which resembles the rising moon in a valley of cedars.

I kiss thy cheeks, where lingers a faint flush, like the reflection of a rose upheld to an urn of alabaster.

I kiss thine eyelids, and liken them to the purple veined flowers and close beneath the oppression of a topic evening, in a land where the sunsets are bright as the flames of burning amber.

I kiss thy throat, whose ardent pallor is the pallor of marble warmed by the autumn sun.

I kiss thy mouth, which has the savour and perfume of fruit made moist with spray from a magic fountain, in the secret paradise that we alone shall fine; a paradise whence they that come shall nevermore depart, for the waters thereof are Lethe, and the fruit is the fruit of the tree of Life.

April 13, 1921.

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Printed on: January 21, 2019