The Temple Dancing Girl Poem by Laurence Hope

The Temple Dancing Girl

You will be mine; those lightly dancing feet,
Falling as softly on the careless street
As the wind-loosened petals of a flower,
Will bring you here, at the Appointed Hour.

And all the Temple's little links and laws
Will not for long protect your loveliness.
I have a stronger force to aid my cause,
Nature's great Law, to love and to possess!

Throughout those sleepless watches, when I lay
Wakeful, desiring what I might not see,
I knew (it helped those hours, from dusk to day),
In this one thing, Fate would be kind to me.

You will consent, through all my veins like wine
This prescience flows; your lips meet mine above,
Your clear soft eyes look upward into mine
Dim in a silent ecstasy of love.

The clustered softness of your waving hair,
That curious paleness which enchants me so,
And all your delicate strength and youthful air,
Destiny will compel you to bestow!

Refuse, withdraw, and hesitate awhile,
Your young reluctance does but fan the flame;
My partner, Love, waits, with a tender smile,
Who play against him play a losing game.

I, strong in nothing else, have strength in this,
The subtlest, most resistless, force we know
Is aiding me; and you must stoop and kiss:
The genius of the race will have it so!

Yet, make it not too long, nor too intense
My thirst; lest I should break beneath the strain,
And the worn nerves, and over-wearied sense,
Enjoy not what they spent themselves to gain.

Lest, in the hour when you consent to share
That human passion Beauty makes divine,
I, over worn, should find you over fair,
Lest I should die before I make you mine.

You will consent, those slim, reluctant feet,
Falling as lightly on the careless street
As the white petals of a wind-worn flower,
Will bring you here, at the Appointed Hour.

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