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.
 
Usury
By Orrick Johns (1887–1946)
 
(From “Hedone”; from Black Branches, 1920)

TREASURE I aught beneath the stars
  to scorn thy soul’s ihlang-ihlang …
Have I some yet crescendent bars
  no other suitor learned or sang?
 
These searching fingers unashamed,        5
  sweet with the ink that blots the sun,
are they not tigers loosed and tamed
  to fright thee, child of Babylon?
 
My tangled hairs and anguished jaws
  above the loom like riddled flags,        10
storming beyond the menopause
  to whitened Hylotheic crags.
 
Thou shalt fall back, the knotted loins
  of thought are pressing on unbound!
the pillars and the deep-lunged groins        15
  of reticence are flung to ground.
 
Yet for thy love’s ihlang-ihlang
  these fiery flanks obey, are still
and the uncivilized mustang
  of beauty sleeps … it is thy will.        20
 
 
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