Prayer

A poem by Laurence Hope (Adela Florence Cory Nicolson)

You are all that is lovely and light,
Aziza whom I adore,
And, waking, after the night,
I am weary with dreams of you.
Every nerve in my heart is tense and sore
As I rise to another morning apart from you.

I dream of your luminous eyes,
Aziza whom I adore!
Of the ruffled silk of your hair,
I dream, and the dreams are lies.
But I love them, knowing no more
Will ever be mine of you
Aziza, my life's despair.

I would burn for a thousand days,
Aziza whom I adore,
Be tortured, slain, in unheard of ways
If you pitied the pain I bore.
You pity! Your bright eyes, fastened on other things,
Are keener to sting my soul, than scorpion stings!

You are all that is lovely to me,
All that is light,
One white rose in a Desert of weariness.
I only live in the night,
The night, with its fair false dreams of you,
You and your loveliness.

Give me your love for a day,
A night, an hour:
If the wages of sin are Death
I am willing to pay.
What is my life but a breath
Of passion burning away?
Away for an unplucked flower.
O Aziza whom I adore,
Aziza my one delight,
Only one night, I will die before day,
And trouble your life no more.

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