Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/111

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AFFECTIONATE KISSES

dead, "Joseph fell upon his father's face and wept upon him and kissed him"; and it is told of Abu Bekr, Mahomet's first disciple, father-in-law, and successor, that, when the prophet was dead, he went into the latter's tent, uncovered his face, and kissed him.

In the curious poem of Ebbe Tygesøns dödsridt, when the knight's horse carries his corpse back to his betrothed, it is said:

She lifted up his gory head,
And raised it to her lips to kiss;
She swooned away, and fell back dead,
In very sooth, as she did this.

W. F. H.

In ancient times lovers always demanded of each other this act of love. "When the alabaster box, filled with Syrian perfume, has been poured out over my dead body, then do thou, O Cynthia, press thy last kisses on my cold lips," sings Propertius in one of his elegies:

Osculaque in gelidis pones suprema labellis,
Cum dabitur Syrio munere plenus onyx.

Propertius iii. 4, 29, 30.

And the same wish is expressed by Tibullus (I., i. 61, 62):

Flebis et arsuro positum me, Delia, lecto,
Tristibus et lacrymis oscula mixta dabis.