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Robert Crawford

(1868 - 13 January 1930 / Australia)

A Night In Babylon.


We whom to-night Love keeps awake
For his own joy, may one day break
Our fast in some Lethéan cave,
When we but a faint memory have,
Or none, of such dear nights as this.
Sweetheart! thy lips again to kiss,
Thy limbs to fold, though all ends thus
And time makes such poor wrecks of us,
Who feast to-night on Love's own food
As in a heavenly solitude,
And drink his wine, — this bliss of ours
Which makes our bodies bloom like flowers,
In whose quick scents our souls escape
We know not where — each wingéd shape
That haply shall elude the curse
When we have lost the universe
In this night's Babylonian heart —
Have then lost all that may impart
Life to the dead, the lust of that
On which the purple heart grows fat,
And thrills to prove that it can be
The bourne of its own ecstasy
Within a paradise whose skies
Have never known the sun to rise
Nor all the moony rapture wane!
Clasp me, Sweetheart! and kiss again
Until we have so drunk the light
Of this delirious sweet night
Our souls may nevermore be dry,
Though death our bodies may deny
The power to appease that thirst
Which Love's heat raised within us first
Ere he had taught our lips and eyes
The purport of his paradise,
And made the trembling senses take
The night for day, and keep awake
With all the strange delights that are
Under our Babylonian star
That came from chaos, it may be,
To guard our first night's mystery,
And let his cloak of glory lie
Over us, dear, who would not die.
Ah, Sweetheart! if all comes to this,
And we must lose the sum of bliss
(When we lie by the Lethéan wave
And know that nothing Love can save)
We may forget ourselves, and be
Content with Death's tranquillity.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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