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The Bayadere

by
 Flaked, drifting clouds hide not the full moon's rays 
More than her beautiful bright limbs were hid 
By the light veils they burned and blushed amid, 
Skilled to provoke in soft, lascivious ways, 
And there was invitation in her voice 
And laughing lips and wonderful dark eyes, 
As though above the gates of Paradise 
Fair verses bade, Be welcome and rejoice! 


O'er rugs where mottled blue and green and red 
Blent in the patterns of the Orient loom, 
Like a bright butterfly from bloom to bloom, 
She floated with delicious arms outspread.
There was no pose she took, no move she made, But all the feverous, love-envenomed flesh Wrapped round as in the gladiator's mesh And smote as with his triple-forked blade.
I thought that round her sinuous beauty curled Fierce exhalations of hot human love, -- Around her beauty valuable above The sunny outspread kingdoms of the world; Flowing as ever like a dancing fire Flowed her belled ankles and bejewelled wrists, Around her beauty swept like sanguine mists The nimbus of a thousand hearts' desire.

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