Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MUNDI VICTIMA: 3, by ARTHUR WILLIAM SYMONS

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MUNDI VICTIMA: 3, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I gaze upon your portrait in my hand
Last Line: Because desire dare not desire relief.
Subject(s): Desire

I gaze upon your portrait in my hand.
And slowly, in a dream, I see you stand
Silent before me, with your pressing gaze
Of enigmatic calm, and all your face
Smiling with that ironical repose
Which is the weariness of one who knows.
Dare I divine, then, what your visage dreams,
So troubled and so strangely calm it seems?
Consuming eyes consenting to confess
The extreme ardour of their heaviness,
The lassitude of passionate desires
Denied, pale smoke of unaccomplished fires;
Ah! in those shell-curved, purple eyelids bent
Towards some most dolorous accomplishment,
And in the painful patience of the mouth,
(A sundered fruit that waits, in a great drouth,
One draught of living water from the skies)
And in the carnal mystery of the eyes,
And in the burning pallor of the cheeks;
Voice of the Flesh! this is the voice that speaks,
In agony of spirit, or in grief
Because desire dare not desire relief.

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