By George Sterling

For this love's gage, what flower may we choose?
    Sweet, shall it be a waif of Eden's bloom,
    Or some strange blossom ministrant to doom
And fragrant of disaster? Shall it lose
It's soul in evening raptures, or refuse
    The calice of its passion to the gloom?
    Be found the rose of amorous perfume,
Or jasmine with the morning on her dews?

Behold! Thy brow is whiter! Shall I dare
    To touch thy marble with a mortal hand
        Or brave the storms of Heaven at thy kiss?
My spirit is imprisoned unaware.
    I live a shadow in a haunted land.
        I did not know that love could be like this!

Written in Sag Harbor.

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