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.
 
The Fall of Man
Anonymous
 
(From The Point of View)

A HAND omnipotent, in endless space,
From chaos, formed a world and found a place,
Where, through the countless ages, yet unborn,
A star might shine from dusk to rosy morn.
Great mountains rose, majestic in their might,        5
And sun-kissed hills, aglow with mellow light,
And rippling streams went purling through the dales,
To silver lakes that glistened in the vales.
A subtle fragrance filled each shifting breeze,
The scent of flowers in bloom and budding trees.        10
 
So beautiful the earth, in Nature’s eyes,
A soul was sent to dwell, in human guise,
A form of god-like beauty and of might,
To drink the sunshine and to dream at night,
Strange visions came to Nature’s first child, Man.        15
In those old days, when first the world began,
Unclad and lone, he roved from spot to spot
And longed and yearned for something which was not.
Until, at last, a prayer went up to Heaven
And Nature’s noblest gift to man was given:        20
A gentle, throbbing, trembling, beauteous maid,
Fair as the man, but with a softer shade,
Endowed with beauty and a thousand charms
That sought the sheltering clasp of loving arms.
 
As children play, in childhood’s happy hours,        25
They romped and played among the sylvan bowers,
Or sported in the streams whose waters sweet
Ran cool beneath the trees at noonday’s heat.
And when night’s sable banners were unfurled
And darkness wound her arms about the world,        30
On beds of roses, in some vine-clad nest,
Their drowsy senses found untroubled rest
And wandering zephyrs swept across them there,
Unclad, but unashamed, in Eden fair.
 
No thought had come to them of wild desire        35
And yet, at times, a smouldering, hidden fire
Seemed slumbering deep within and fiercer burned,
When, in their sleep, they toward each other turned,
One ambient night of blissful summer-time,
A perfect night of Eden’s balmy clime,        40
Eve stretched her languorous limbs in restless sleep
And Adam, at her side, sought slumber deep.
Some trifling thing, perhaps a wind-swayed fern,
A leaf—a bird—caused both of them to turn.
Eve’s rounded arm was thrown above her head,        45
Her dimpled knee, just lifted from its bed,
When, by this chance, this trifle, light as air,
Their warm lips met, and, trembling, lingered there.
They slept no more from dusk to rosy dawn,
’Mongst roses red or on some grassy lawn,        50
But wakened often, from strange dreams of bliss,
To find their mouths all melting in a kiss.
Their hearts were filled with vague, unknown desire,
Nor knew they how to quench the wondrous fire.
 
A wild unrest upon them settled down        55
And Adam’s brow would often wear a frown,
And then again, he’d stroke her glorious hair
And gaze into her eyes and call her fair,
Then clasp her fiercely, with encircling arm,
As though to shield her from impending harm,        60
Then wildly kiss her—eyes—mouth—neck and breast,
While she against him, tightly, closely press’t
Still waited, hungered, starved for something more,
Yet little knew what nature had in store.
 
Just how the fall occurred, so long ago,        65
The modern world should naturally know.
Not touching on his grievous fall from grace,
But just a hint at what we know took place,
And if his fall was premature, what then!
That sometimes happens to the best of men.        70
 
Eve’s little, truant, tapering fingers slim,
Beloved of Adam and caressed by him,
By accident, one night, grew wondrous wise,
And found just where the trees of knowledge rise.
Amazed, surprise, confounded, if you please,        75
But, womanlike, inclined a bit to tease,
She tried experiments of many a kind,
To learn by which she most delight could find?
And Adam, dizzy with her new-found charms,
Gave way to every pressure of her arms        80
And gave her childish innocence full sway,
Nor cared to check her or to say her: “Nay.”
Then suddenly, with savage, passionate clasp,
She drew him to her with an eager grasp
And sank exhausted, yet with cheeks aflame,        85
Athrill with feelings which she could not name
And Adam, swept away, on seas of bliss,
Poured all his soul in one, long, clinging kiss.
’T was pain, ’t was pleasure, ’t was a joy intense.
It seemed as though along each quivering sense,        90
Swift rivulets of fire had found their way
And burned their hearts. They knew not night nor day,
Nor life, nor death, nor aught that mortals know.
They only knew they loved each other so.
 
Nor dreamed they, even yet, of further joy,        95
The one swift dream that comes without alloy,
And blends two loving natures into one,
Too sweet to last—that ends ere ’tis begun.
It came to them like lightning from the sky.
Each thought the very hour of death was nigh,        100
Yet longed to live. Delirious pain
Went sweeping through their inmost souls again
And black oblivion brooded for an hour,
O’er passion’s birth in Eden’s rosy bower.
 
And when, at last, Eve wakened from her swoon,        105
The night had fled. The glare of Eden’s noon
Sent showers of golden light through waving trees,
And subtle fragrance lingered on the breeze.
Throughout the realm of Eden’s joyous bower,
All things that lived were happy in that hour,        110
For, led by sweet desire, example given,
They found, on earth, the one foretaste of Heaven.
 
And since you must know all there is to know,
When Eve awakened, in a blushing glow,
Her thirst for knowledge, seeking to know all,        115
Discovered first the secret of the fall.
She sought the source of her new-found delight,
Turned pale, grew faint and trembled at the sight.
The Tree of Knowledge stood—ah! yes, it stood.
Past tense, you see—and while the past was good,        120
The present need was great, without a doubt
And pretty Eve began to fret and pout.
She wept and sighed and said “I see it all,
For here was death and there, alas! the fall.”
 
 
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