Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO AN AIR ON THE SAMISEN, by RICHARD EUGENE BURTON

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TO AN AIR ON THE SAMISEN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Little princess of the small slipper
Last Line: Is the one word, -- love?
Subject(s): Air; Death; Life; Lips; Love; Sailing & Sailors; Ships & Shipping; Dead, The; Seamen; Sails

LITTLE Princess of the small slipper,
And the great heart,
Here is my gift, see!
(From all other gifts apart):
A little token of ivory,
White, like thy flesh,
Flushed as thy lips.
With a mesh
Of carven figures bordering the edges:
Sailing ships
By river ledges
Where brown girls leap
Into the waters deep;
And tranced peach trees
Guarding their sanctities. . . .
Little Princess, see!
And in the pool, a mirrored me
Making obeisance to thee,
Little Princess of the fan, and the almond eyes,
With the bird-of-paradise
Woven into thy gown
Up and down,
And crosswise. . . .
Oh, the sandal-scent of thy breath!
One word, for life or death?
Speak, little Princess!
The orioles sing above:
Is the one word, -- love?

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