by Laurence Hope
Ah, Wind, I have always loved thee
Since those far off nights
When I lay beneath the vines
A prey to strange delights,
For among my tresses
Thy soft caresses
Were sweet as a lover's to me.
Later thou grewest more wanton, or I more shy,
And after the bath I drew my garments close,
Fearing thy soft persuasion amongst my hair
When thou camest fresh with the scent of some ruffled rose.
Ah, Wind, thou hast lain with the Desert,
I know her savour well,
And the spices wherewith she scents her breasts--
She who has known such countless lovers
Yet rarely borne a city among her sands--
Thou comest as one from a night of love,
Thy breath is broken and hard,--
Bringing echoes of lonely things,
Vast and cruel, that the soft and golden sands
Buried beneath thin ripples so long ago.
Ah, Wind, thou hast given me lovely things,
The scent of a thousand flowers,
And the heavy perfume of pollen-laden fields,
Strange snatches of wild song from the heart of the dark Bazaar
That thrilled to my very core,
Till I threw the sheet aside and rose to follow,--
But whither, or what?
Also, Wind, thou broughtest the breath of the sea,
The sound of its myriad waves.
And in nights when I lay on the lonely sands
Stretching mine arms to thee,
Thou gavest me something--faint and vast and sweet,
Something ineffable, wistful, from far away,
And thou wast kind to me in my times of love,
Cooling my lips
That my lover wore away,
While, wafting the scent from his divided hair,
Thou show'dst the stars between
Far away, and eclipsed by his burning eyes
Even the stars.
And now I almost foresee the place and the hour
When I shall open my dying lips to thee
And receive a last cool kiss.
Afterwards, Wind, since I have always loved thee,--
Whirl my dust to the scented heart of a moghra flower,
_His_ flower, but, ah, thou knowest,--
So often thy kisses have mingled with his and mine.
Last updated January 14, 2019