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Amor Profanus

by
 Beyond the pale of memory,
In some mysterious dusky grove;
A place of shadows utterly,
Where never coos the turtle-dove,
A world forgotten of the sun:
I dreamed we met when day was done,
And marvelled at our ancient love.
Met there by chance, long kept apart, We wandered through the darkling glades; And that old language of the heart We sought to speak: alas! poor shades! Over our pallid lips had run The waters of oblivion, Which crown all loves of men or maids.
In vain we stammered: from afar Our old desire shone cold and dead: That time was distant as a star, When eyes were bright and lips were red.
And still we went with downcast eye And no delight in being nigh, Poor shadows most uncomforted.
Ah, Lalage! while life is ours, Hoard not thy beauty rose and white, But pluck the pretty fleeing flowers That deck our little path of light: For all too soon we twain shall tread The bitter pastures of the dead: Estranged, sad spectres of the night.

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