Richard Le Gallienne

(1866-1947 / England)

Love In Spain

You shall not dare to drink this cup,
Yet fear this other I hold up-
Sings Love in Spain:

One brimming deep with woman's breath-
This other moon-lit cup is Death;
Drink one, drink twain.

No sippers we of ladies' lips,
Toyers of amorous finger tips,
Are we in Spain.

Terrible like a bright sweet sword,
And little tender is the Lord
Of Love in Spain.

His song a tiger-throated thing,-
A crouch, a cry, a frightened string;
Death the refrain.

Scarlet and lightning are its words,
There is no room in it for birds
And flowers in Spain.

A flash, and mouth is lost on mouth,
And life on life; so in the South
The cup we drain.

We do not dream and hesitate
About its brim; we fear not Fate
That love in Spain.

And ah! come hear the reason why-
There are no girls beneath the sky
Like those of Spain.

All other women scarcely seem
More than pale women in a dream
By ours of Spain.

Ah! who aright shall tell their praise,-
Their subtle, soft, imperious ways,
Their high disdain.

Golden as bars of Spanish gold,
Hot as the sun, as the moon cold,
The girls of Spain.

Their faces as magnolias white,
Their hair the soul of summer night,
Soft as soft rain;

And swift as the steel blade that flies
Into a coward's heart their eyes,
Then soft again.

Under their little languid feet,
That carry such a world of sweet,
My heart lies slain.

Girls North and South, and East and West,
But fairer far than all the rest
The girls of Spain.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010
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