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.
 
Bianca
By Arthur Symons (1865–1945)
 
(Bianca, I. From London Nights, 1895)

HER cheeks are hot, her cheeks are white;
The white girl hardly breathes to-night,
  So faint the pulses come and go,
  That waken to a smouldering glow
The morbid faintness of her white.        5
 
What drowsing heats of sense, desire
Longing and languorous, the fire
  Or what white ashes, subtly mesh
  The fascinations of her flesh
Into a breathing web of fire?        10
 
Only her eyes, only her mouth,
Live, in the agony of drouth,
  Athirst for that which may not be:
  The desert of virginity
Aches in the hotness of her mouth.        15
 
I take her hands into my hands,
Silently, and she understands;
  I set my lips upon her lips;
  Shuddering to her finger-tips
She strains my hands within her hands.        20
 
I set my lips on hers; they close
Into a false and phantom rose;
  Upon her thirsting lips I rain
  A flood of kisses, and in vain;
Her lips inexorably close.        25
 
Through her closed lips that cling to mine,
Her hands that hold me and entwine,
  Her body that abandoned lies,
  Rigid with sterile ecstasies,
A shiver knits her flesh to mine.        30
 
Life sucks into a mist remote
Her fainting lips, her throbbing throat;
  Her lips that open to my lips,
  And, hot against my finger-tips,
The pulses leaping in her throat.        35
 
 
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