The Revenge

By George Sterling

    Our sweet, long night of sin
Ended in slumber. On my moving breast
Slowly her small, delightful head found rest
    From all the cares therein.

    O passionate soft dove!
I, too, drank deep of anodyne and dream,
Lost, lost with you beyond that dim extreme
    And shadowland of love.

    Some time within my sleep
The night crushed in upon me like a mace.
How soon I woke I know not. On my face
    I felt my warm blood creep.

    It was a coward's blow—
A coward's trick to bind us where we lay!
Then, on the silence and the newborn day,
    His voice rang bleak and slow.

    "You, thief, did covet her:
So take her now forever! Thigh to thigh,
Bosom to favorable bosom lie,
    That bliss escape no spur!"

    His chains at neck and knee
Fasten us closely, lest the lovers shrink.
My wrists are bound, but evening food and drink
    Gently he proffers me.

    God knows I cannot eat.
Water the flesh demands, and I must quaff.
He gives it with a satiated laugh
    That all in Hell repeat.

    And she whose lips were red
Ere that accursed morning of surprise?
I kiss no more the mouth and curded eyes
    Of her a fortnight dead.

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