On Pilgrimage Poem by Laurence Hope

On Pilgrimage



Oh, youthful bearer of my palanquin,
Thy glossy hair lies loosened on thy neck,
The 'tears of labour' gem thy velvet skin,
Whose even texture knows no other fleck.

Thy slender shoulder strains beneath my weight;
Too fair thou art for work, sweet slave of mine.
Would that this idle breast, reversing fate,
A willing serf to love, supported thine!

I smell the savage scent of sun-warmed fur
Close in the Jungle, musky, hot and sweet.--
The air comes from thy shoulder, even as myrrh,
Would we were as the panthers, free to meet.

The Temple road is steep; I grieve to see
Thy slender ankles bruised among the clods.
Oh, my Beloved, if I might worship thee!
Beauty is greater far than all the Gods.

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