I fain would love thee, but thy lips are fed
With poison-honey, hived in a skull
They seem like scarlet poppies, beautiful
For delving roots, deep-clenched in the dead.
Thine eyes are coloured like the nightshade-flow'r
Blent in the opiate perfume of thy breath
Are dreams, and purple sleep, and scented death
For him that is thy lover for an hour.
Mandragora, within the graveyard grown,
Hath given thee its carnal root to eat,
And vipers, born and nurstled in a tomb,
From fawning mouths drip venom at thy feet;
Yet from thy lethal lips and thine alone,
Love would I drink, as dew from poison-bloom
Within your arms I will forget
The horror that Zimimar brings
Between his vast and vampire wings
From out his frozen oubliette.
The terror born of ultimate space
That gnaws with icy fang and fell
The sucklings of the hag of hell,
Shall flee the enchantment of your face.
Ah, more than all my wizard art
The circle our delight has drawn
What evil phantoms thence have gone,
What dreadful presences depart!
Your arms are white, your arms are warm
To hold me from the haunted air,
And you alone are firm and fair
Amid the darkly whirling storm