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.
 
Infidels
By George Sterling (1869–1926)
 
(1921)

COLD and eternal stare his eyes of stone,
  As now, adored across the templed gloom,
  The graven god exalts his granite room.
Implacably his acolytes intone:
The smitten gong makes answer in a groan;        5
  Slowly the azures of the worship fume,
  Phantoms awhile of that enduring tomb,
And “‘Life is evil!’” now the bonzes drone.
 
Without, a darkness passionate with breath
  Of unseen flowers—a fragrance at the shrine        10
Of two that lie incredulous of death.
    The grass is cool beneath her, and the night
  Holds, as a rose her immaterial wine,
    The moan and murmur of the old delight.
 
 
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