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 Youth
By Francis Saltus Saltus (1849–1889)
 
(From Lot’s Wife, 1890)

    OH, sweet passer! I am strong,
    Grace and charm to me belong;
All my flesh is like soft sammet and my muscles rival steel;
    I have spices on my breast;
    My dark locks are oiled and tressed,        5
And the wounds of suffering passion I can mollify and heal.
 
    Hark, all ye who round me throng,
    I can sing a lulling song,
I can charm you with the cadence of my rich sonorous voice,
    And with suave, melodious words,        10
    Sweeter far than trills of birds,
I can win your languid pleasure and can make the soul rejoice!
 
    To our king one festal night
    I gave rapture and delight,
And he crowned my brows with myrtle, ay! and kissed me on his throne;        15
    For my beauty is as rare
    As Askar’s, surnamed the Fair,
And the secrets of sweet passion unto me belong alone!
 
    There is ever new surprise
    In the poem of my eyes;        20
I am lithe, and light, and supple, like the leopard of the plain;
    My curled hair has reached the length
    Of the lion’s in his strength,
And my kiss is warm and fragrant like the falling of the rain!
 
    I have zonahs in my house,        25
    With white lilies on their brows,
To excite you by soft kisses and white perfume-reeking arms,
    While I beckon your embrace
    In the splendor of my grace,
While you play in joy ecstatic with the beauty of their charms!        30
 
    Oh, sweet passer! do not heed
    Yon old creature in his need,
For his words are false and worthless, and a century dims his fire;
    He gives herbs and venomed roots;
    His cold kiss is like a brute’s,        35
And the spasms of god-like passion in his decrepit carcass tire!
 
    Come to me, all ye who crave
    The sweet passion of a slave!
Bring me gold, or wine and honey, and my kisses will be yours;
    And I swear by mighty Bel        40
    To anoint and please you well,
While my naked zonahs press you, and the balmy night endures!
 
 
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