Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
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T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
 
Song of the Gay Zonah
By Francis Saltus Saltus (1849–1889)
 
(From Lot’s Wife, 1890)

    OH, sweet passer! I am fair,
    For the lily scents my hair,
Made most redolent and glossy by the radiant roses’ oil;
    My ringed arms are dazzling white,
    And my kiss is a delight,        5
While the sweet alhenna clusters burn my bosom while I toil.
 
    Like my goddess, great Ishtàr,
    My black glance outshines a star,
And my form is warm and wavy, like the palm and the tamar;
    I have sapphires and rare gems        10
    On my mantle’s sacred hems,
And the unguents on my haunches come o’er deserts from afar.
 
    I hold, hidden in my tent,
    Drugs of love and ravishment,
And a bed where fragrant lilies lie with birdlings’ downy plumes;        15
    I hold passion and desire
    To inspire love’s sleepy fire,
And to stir the sudden pulses in soft aromatic glooms!
 
    Till the midnight I will sing
    Unto Nebo, the great king,        20
And my asor’s gentle music will allay thy fevered rest;
    Thou shalt slumber till my birds
    Wake to hear my loving words,
While I press a thrice-born passion on the marble of my breast.
 
    The pure night is waning fast;        25
    Oh, my God Yem, unsurpassed!
Send me golden lovers many, ay, if only for a span!
    And, oh passers wise and brave!
    Be not tempted by yon slave,
For my kisses are far sweeter than the kisses of a man!        30
 
 
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