Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LA FELINE, by HERBERT KAUFMAN



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LA FELINE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: You have come back to me through the / ages
Last Line: And forswear hope of god for your sake!
Subject(s): Absence; Love; Man-woman Relationships; Passion; Separation; Isolation; Male-female Relations


YOU have come back to me through the ages—
Through the dumb, dead, blind years of ago;
And I saw you to-night in your glory
Of chiffon and lace and gem glow.
You are jeweled in man-madding beauty
As you were when the world was a-young,
When your passion-depthed eyes
Shamed the stars of God's skies,
And your soul knew not what songs it sung.

You are married, they tell me, yet whisper
That many men preen in your trail;
Fools who sue with soft sobs for your pity
And sigh out their bloodless travail;
Or they sing empty nothings of passion
And weep in their puny despair
As they vow you are stone
Then implore you and groan—
Hunters caught in their own bungling snare.

And you play with them, one, then another,
Purr and stretch in your sinuous length,
As a she leopard sports with her quarry,
Knowing full well the might of your strength.
You are still as you were in the cave days,
When you lusted with bared souls to toy,
And they pay just the same
For the joy of your game
When you tire and find that they cloy.

You are fair now with lotion and rouge tint,
You are fragranced with essence and scent,
You are gowned in the last mode of Paris
And shapely in fashion's new bent;
You are plated with code and convention
And the fools judge you by your veneer,
But beneath all your show
There is in you the glow
Of the one thing that's stronger than fear.

You are still you—a radiant savage,
And your soul, drowsing numb, yearns its mate;
Not a weakling who comes with a love sigh,
Or a fool who despairs of his fate,
But a master whose passion will wreck you,
Who will bruise you and tear you and take;
Who will trample the code
If it lie in his road,
And forswear hope of God for your sake!





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