SONNET.

FOR G. F. KELLY’S DRAWING OF AN HERMAPHRODITE.


O BODY pale and beautiful with sin!

O breasts with venom swollen by the snakes

Of passion, whose cold slaver slimes and slakes

Thy soul-consuming fevers that within

Thy heart the fires of hell on earth begin!

O heart whose yearning after truth forsakes

The law of love! O heart whose ocean breaks

In sterile foam against some golden skin!

O thou whose body is one perfect prayer,

One long regret, one agony of shame,

Lost in the fragrance, speeding, subtle and rare,

Up to the sky, an avenue of flame!

My soul, thy body, in the same sin curled,

With vivid lust annihilate the world.


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