Exotique

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Exotique  (1918) 
by Clark Ashton Smith
1918.

Thy mouth is like a crimson orchid-flower
Whence perfume and whence poison rise unseen
To moons aswim in iris or in green,
Or mix with morning in an eastern bower.

Thou shouldst have known, in amarathine isles,
The sunsets hued like fire of frankincense,
And noontides fraught with far-borne redolence,
The mingled spicery of purple miles.

Thy breasts, where blood and molten marble flow,
Thy warm white limbs, thy loins of tropic snow—
These, these, by which desire is grown divine,

Were made for dreams in mystic palaces,
For love and sleep and slow voluptuousness,
And summer seas afoam like foaming wine.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1961, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 50 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.