A poem by Laurence Hope (Adela Florence Cory Nicolson)

Farewell, Aziz, it was not mine to fold you
Against my heart for any length of days.
I had no loveliness, alas, to hold you,
No siren voice, no charm that lovers praise.

Yet, in the midst of grief and desolation,
Solace I my despairing soul with this:
Once, for my life's eternal consolation,
You lent my lips your loveliness to kiss.

Ah, that one night! I think Love's very essence
Distilled itself from out my joy and pain,
Like tropical trees, whose fervid inflorescence
Glows, gleams, and dies, never to bloom again.

Often I marvel how I met the morning
With living eyes after that night with you,
Ah, how I cursed the wan, white light for dawning,
And mourned the paling stars, as each withdrew!

Yet I, even I, who am less than dust before you,
Less than the lowest lintel of your door,
Was given one breathless midnight, to adore you.
Fate, having granted this, can give no more!

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