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Amores Poems

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I WILL give you all my keys,  You shall be my châtelaine,You shall enter as you please,  As you please shall go again.

When I hear you jingling through  All the chambers of my soul,How I sit and laugh at you  In your vain housekeeping rôle.

Jealous of the smallest cover,  Angry at the simplest door;Well, you anxious, inquisitive lover,  Are you pleased with what's in store?

You have fingered all my treasures,  Have you not, most curiously,Handled all my tools and measures  And masculine machinery?

Over every single beauty  You have had your little rapture;You have slain, as was your duty,  Every sin-mouse you could capture.

Still you are not satisfied,  Still you tremble faint reproach;Challenge me I keep aside  Secrets that you may not broach.

Maybe yes, and maybe no,  Maybe there are secret places,Altars barbarous below,  Elsewhere halls of high disgraces.

Maybe yes, and maybe no,  You may have it as you please,Since I choose to keep you so,  Suppliant on your curious knees.


THE quick sparks on the gorse bushes are leaping,Little jets of sunlight-texture imitating flame;Above them, exultant, the pee-wits are sweeping:They are lords of the desolate wastes of sadness    their screamings proclaim.

Rabbits, handfuls of brown earth, lie Low-rounded on the mournful grass they have bitten down to the quick. Are they asleep?—Are they alive?—Now see, when I Move my arms the hill bursts and heaves under their spurting kick.

The common flaunts bravely; but below, from the rushes Crowds of glittering king-cups surge to challenge the blossoming bushes; There the lazy streamlet pushes Its curious course mildly; here it wakes again, leaps, laughs, and gushes.

Into a deep pond, an old sheep-dip, Dark, overgrown with willows, cool, with the brook ebbing through so slow, Naked on the steep, soft lip Of the bank I stand watching my own white shadow quivering to and fro.

What if the gorse flowers shrivelled and kissing were lost? Without the pulsing waters, where were the marigolds and the songs of the brook? If my veins and my breasts with love embossed Withered, my insolent soul would be gone like flowers that the hot wind took.

So my soul like a passionate woman turns,Filled with remorseful terror to the man she scorned,    and her loveFor myself in my own eyes' laughter burns,Runs ecstatic over the pliant folds rippling down to    my belly from the breast-lights above.

Over my sunlit skin the warm, clinging air, Rich with the songs of seven larks singing at once, goes kissing me glad. And the soul of the wind and my blood compare Their wandering happiness, and the wind, wasted in liberty, drifts on and is sad.

Oh but the water loves me and folds me, Plays with me, sways me, lifts me and sinks me as though it were living blood, Blood of a heaving woman who holds me, Owning my supple body a rare glad thing, supremely good.


SOMEWHERE the long mellow note of the blackbirdQuickens the unclasping hands of hazel,Somewhere the wind-flowers fling their heads back,Stirred by an impetuous wind....