Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, GERSUIND, by GEORGE SYLVESTER VIERECK

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

GERSUIND, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Some amorous demon wrought your limbs
Last Line: And pray until the doom of dawn.
Subject(s): Graves; Kisses; Love; Voices; Women; Tombs; Tombstones

Some amorous demon wrought your limbs
Hewn out of moonwhite ivory;
Over your visage restlessly
Flickers the semblance of a soul,
And yet, queer wench, you are to me
More monstrous than the evil hymns
The black priest chants in mockery,
With sound obscene and eyes that roll,
Of the good Shepherd of the See.

Your voice is instant with a power,
That, like thick incense, makes men mad.
It is the voice the Tempter had,
Who whispered in an evil hour
To Judah's king and Magdalen,
And cried aloud in Sodom's men
For the two angels in the tower.

You smile upon me and your mouth
Half opens like a great red flower
Athirsting in the hot sun's drouth.
Before men's scorn you will not cower,
Your spirit quails not, neither squirms,
And yet your body is a bower
Where unclean wishes crawl like worms.

Black meres -- the eyes, beneath your lashes
Dream, by life's fitful tide unstirred,
Save when some quick priapic word
Floods them with phantom lightning flashes
Whereof the thunder is not heard.
A thousand years of sick desire
Crouch like a beast that snarling lies,
Stung by some taunt to mortal ire,
In the abysses of those eyes!

Yet when I gazed upon you, child,
All bounds from us I fain had flung,
And bathed with healing tears and mild,
Your head so pitifully young.
But you, not knowing, would have smiled
And love's white roses smirched with dust,
Seeing each nerve in you defiled
Is vibrant with some nameless lust.

Lo! I have not the strength divine
Of Him whose bare feet ruled the sea,
To make your girl heart whole and free
And drive the devils into swine.
You must unto your dying day
Still walk unsolaced and alone,
Yea, and beyond, when to the bone
Your little breasts shall rot away.

Thus in the phosphorescent glow
Of your corruption you shall lie
Until God's awful trumpets blow,
And all the sleepers, row by row,
Each with the other, two by two,
Rise from their coffins, and the grave
Spits forth the foulness that is you.

But in the universal spasm,
When the apocalyptic chasm
Engulfs the water and the land,
Then I shall come and comfort you,
Then I shall hold your shrunken hand
The grave has bitten through and through,
-- With never nerve to, twitch or goad --
And then perhaps you'll understand
The kiss that I have not bestowed . . .
And ere God's hosts are marshaled bright
And the last dreaded veil withdrawn,
I shall be with you in the night
And pray until the doom of dawn.

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