Wizard's Love (Latter manuscript version)

Clark Ashton Smith

O perfect love, unhoped-for, past despair!
I had not thought to find
Your face betwixt the terrene earth and air:
But deemed you lost in fabulous old lands
And rose-lit years to darkness long resigned.
O child, you cannot know
What magic and what miracles you bring
Between your dulcet breasts, your tender hands;
What lethal wound your balmy lips have healed;
What griefs are lulled to blissful slumbering
Cushioned upon your deep and fragrant hair;
What gall-black bitterness of long ago,
Within my bosom sealed,
Ebbs gradually as might some desert well
Under your body's heaven, warm and fair,
And the green suns of your vertumnal eyes.

O beauty wrought of rapture and surprise,
Too dear for heart to know or tongue to tell!
Now more and more you seem
Fantasy turned to flesh, incarnate dream.
Surely I called you with consummate spell
In desperate, forgotten wizardries,
With signs and sigils of dead goeties
And evocations born of blood and pain,
But deemed forever vain.
Surely you came to me of yore, among
The teeming specters amorous,
With faces veiled and splendid bosoms bare,
That turned my sleep to fever and delight
In ever-desolate years when love was young.
Or I, perchance,
Begot you on some golden succubus
That writhed beneath me through the Sabbat's night
In earlier lives forevowed to Satanry
And sorcerous dark romance.
For all your heart and flesh are sib to me,
And in my soul's profound,
Your face, an irrecoverable pearl,
Is ultimately drowned.
So thus, delicious girl!
Whether love's destiny be weal or woe,
I hold you now, and shall not let you go.

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