A poem by Laurence Hope (Adela Florence Cory Nicolson)

Who does not feel desire unending
To solace through his daily strife,
With some mysterious Mental Blending,
The hungry loneliness of life?

Until, by sudden passion shaken,
As terriers shake a rat at play,
He finds, all blindly, he has taken
The old, Hereditary way.

Yet, in the moment of communion,
The very heart of passion's fire,
His spirit spurns the mortal union,
"Not this, not this, the Soul's desire!"

* * * *

Oh You, by whom my life is riven,
And reft away from my control,
Take back the hours of passion given!
Love me one moment from your soul.

Although I once, in ardent fashion,
Implored you long to give me this;
(In hopes to stem, or stifle, passion)
Your hair to touch, your lips to kiss

Now that your gracious self has granted
The loveliness you hold as naught,
I find, alas! not that I wanted -
Possession has not stifled Thought.

Desire its aim has only shifted, -
Built hopes upon another plan,
And I in love for you have drifted
Beyond all passion known to man.

Beyond all dreams of soft caresses
The solacing of any kiss, -
Beyond the fragrance of your tresses
(Once I had sold my soul for this!)

But now I crave no mortal union
(Thanks for that sweetness in the past);
I need some subtle, strange communion,
Some sense that I join you, at last.

Long past the pulse and pain of passion,
Long left the limits of all love, -
I crave some nearer, fuller fashion,
Some unknown way, beyond, above, -

Some infinitely inner fusion,
As Wave with Water; Flame with Fire, -
Let me dream once the dear delusion
That I am You, Oh, Heart's Desire!

Your kindness lent to my caresses
That beauty you so lightly prize, -
The midnight of your sable tresses,
The twilight of your shadowed eyes.

Ah, for that gift all thanks are given!
Yet, Oh, adored, beyond control,
Count all the passionate past forgiven
And love me once, once, from your soul.

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