Passion's Hour

By George Sterling

To-day the flesh contemns the craven mind
    And reveals like a tiger in the sun;
    I drink the noon's elixir, and am one
With fauns that seek the Oreads, as I find
A passionate compulsion in the wind,
    Upon whose path the cloudland chariots run
    To some remote and airy Avalon,
Where Joy is crowned, nor any nymph unkind.

To-day the tender mystery of thy soul
Seems half-forgot, nor utterly my goal:
    I crave thy lips, I crave the flame thereof—
        Mad for that hour of ecstasy and fire
        In which the deathless pinions of Desire
    Are shadows on the semi-swoon of love.

Written in Carmel.

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