Love Malevolent

Clark Ashton Smith

I fain would love thee, but thy lips are fed
With poison-honey, hivéd in a skull;
They seem like scarlet poppies, beautiful
For delving roots, deep-clenchèd in the dead.

Thine eyes are coloured like the nightshade-flow'r.***
Blent in the opiate perfume of thy breath
Are dreams, and purple sleep, and scented death
For him that is thy lover for an hour.

Mandragora, within the graveyard grown,
Hath given thee its carnal root to eat,
And vipers, born and nurstled in a tomb,

From fawning mouths drip venom at thy feet;
Yet from thy lethal lips and thine alone,
Love would I drink, as dew from poison-bloom.

Bibliographic Citation

Top of Page