Hope's Paradise

By George Sterling

How exquisitely, darling, art thou made
    For love!    Thy body, all of pearl and rose,
    Hath passion's keenest rapture to disclose,
Tho' like a pure and perfect lily, laid
On Aphrodite's altar, ne'er to fade
    If Dian comes full-envious, and shows
    Her wannest lilies in the moonlight's snows.
Thou art Love's sun, as other loves his shade!

Ah! would that in a secret dusk we lay,
    On gathered hearts of Eden's whitest flow'rs,
        With ghosts of Eden's fragrance on the air,
Breast unto breast in swoon too sweet to say
    What ecstasy was blossom of the hours,
        What mystery was Love's supremest care!

Written in Carmel.

Bibliography Entry