A Roman Lady
There is a strangeness in my soul
A dark and brooding sea.
Nor all the waves on Capri's shoal
Might stay the thirst of me.
For men have come and men have gone
For pleasure or for hire.
Though they lay broken at the dawn
They did not quench my fire.
My pity is a deathly ruth
I burn men with my eyes.
Oh, would all men were one strong youth
To break between my thighs.
Any many a man his fortune spread
To glut my ecstacy
As I lay panting on his bed
In shameless nudity.
But all of ancient Egypt's gold
Can never equal this,
Nor all the treasures kingdoms hold,
A single hour of bliss.
Within my villa's high domain
Are boys from Britain's rocks
And dark eyed slender lads from Spain
And Greeks with perfumed locks.
And youths of soft and subtle speech
From furtherest Orient,
Wherever arms of legions reach
And Roman chains are sent.
Why may I not be satiate
With kisses of some boy—
They only rouse my passions spate
I never know such joy
As when through chambers filled with noise
Of wails and pleas and sighs
I stride among my naked boys
With whips that bruise their thighs.
I drift through mists red flaming flung
On hills of ecstacies
As shoulder-wealed and buttock-stung
They shriek and kiss my knees.