Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CHALLENGE, by GEORGE SYLVESTER VIERECK

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE CHALLENGE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I challenge you!' you said to me
Last Line: Or else -- in greek mythology.
Subject(s): Love; Youth

"I CHALLENGE you!" you said to me
The curtain parts. You enter in.
A dream of pink and ivory
Through the soft satin peeps your skin.
Before me, in defiance bold,
Now all your little being stands.
Your breasts like two small birds I hold --
I feel their heart-beats with my hands.
But in your eyes there is no dread:
A little animal at play
You cuddle up within my bed,
And simply will not go away.
Perhaps some sober Puritan
Would take your tender ways amiss,
I am not marble, but a man --
Worlds have been battered for a kiss.
And though but now your hand and eye
Upon forbidden ways have strayed,
Against the damask sheet you lie
More like a flower than a maid.
How white are you, how brown am I,
My lily girl! My midnight rose!
How delicate against my thigh
Is the indenture of your toes.
No after-savors mar your lips
With memories of past delight,
Save phantom lads who come on ships
Of dreams to little girls at night.
A thornless rose of memory
Shall be this strange night's white caress.
My love with you deals tenderly,
And life, I pray will do no less.
"Is this not love's way, even so?"
You ask and smile triumphantly,
And know not that still home you go
With all your young virginity.
Scat, little kitten, nor delay,
While there, as yet, is naught to rue!
The city swarms with beasts of prey
Who lie in wait for such as you.
Avaunt, incredible gamin!
You have no right at all to be,
Save in the sculptures of Rodin,
Or else -- in Greek mythology.

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