Ave Adonai


            PALE as the night that pales
                  In the dawn's pearl-pure pavilion,
      I wait for thee, with my dove's breast
      Shuddering, a god its bitter guest —
            Have I not gilded my nails
                  And painted my lips with vermilion?

            Am I not wholly stript
                  Of the deeds and thoughts that obscure thee?
      I wait for thee, my soul distraught
      With aching for some nameless naught
            In its most arcane crypt —
                  Am I not fit to endure thee?

            Girded about the paps
                  With a golden girdle of glory,
      Dost thou wait me, thy slave who am,
      As a wolf lurks for a strayed white lamb?
            The chain of the stars snaps,
                  And the deep of night is hoary!

            Thou whose mouth is a flame
                  With its seven-edged sword proceeding, {351}
      Come! I am writhing with despair
      Like a snake taken in a snare,
            Moaning thy mystical name
                  Till my tongue is torn and bleeding!

            Have I not gilded my nails
                  And painted my lips with vermilion?
      Yea! thou art I; the deed awakes:
      Thy lightning strikes, thy thunder breaks
            Wild as the bride that wails
                  In the bridegroom's plumed pavilion!




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