The Book of the Rose

by Charles G.D. Roberts


 

THE ROSE OF MY DESIRE


 

O wild, dark flower of woman,
Deep rose of my desire,
An eastern wizard made you
Of earth and stars and fire.

When the orange moon swung low

5

Over the camphor-trees,
By the silver shaft of the fountain
He wrought his mysteries.

The hot, sweet mould of the garden
He took from a secret place

10

To become your glimmering body
And the lure of your strange face.

From the swoon of the tropic heaven
He drew down star on star,
And breathed them into your soul

15

That your soul might wander far—

On earth forever homeless,
But intimate of the spheres,
A pang in your mystic laughter,
A portent in your tears.

20


From the night's heat, hushed, electric,
He summoned a shifting flame,
And cherished it, and blew on it
Till it burned into your name.

And he set the name in my heart

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For an unextinguished fire,
O wild, dark flower of woman,
Deep rose of my desire.