Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Collected Poems

Any Poet to his Mistress

Any Poet to his Mistress

Pen has no power to conjure love.
The word is like a woollen glove
that holds and hoards the body's fire,
a non-conductor of desire;
but lightest touch of hand or cheek
a Greek Anthology can speak.
No poet ever warmed a bed
with words; no woman's heart has bled
stabbed with a pen; tongue has no trick
of sentiment or of rhetoric
to snare a kiss. Yet I will prove,
for and against my theme, dear love,
what poets knew before the Flood—
the circumlocution of the blood:
and (silent, lest my tongue should trip)
in a rime riche rhyme lip with lip.