by James McAuley

James McAuley

A shapely amphora I dreamed:
The slender arms curved to the hips;
Mildly the candid surface gleamed
Of sloping shoulder, moulded flank,
Smooth to caressing finger tips:
And, tilting it, the sky-god drank
A honeyed fluid at its lips.
Then from the nectarine throat a moan
Resounded softly, mouthing a blur
Of ancestral murmurs; for a tone
Was shaped within the turning clay
By the unknown artificer
Such as virgin lips convey
When, yielding still, they make demur.
Flattered in all his senses Jove
Grew amorous; and to pay his hire
Changed her to woman, divinely strove
To fill her white belly with the pale
Moon and the crashing of the lyre.
Gave light and music to countervail
The emptying draught of his desire.

Collected Poems 1936-1970

Last updated January 14, 2019