Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/47

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LOVE KISSES

And see their own felicity then mirrored on the earth,
But death sheds tears, and turns his eyes away from such blest mirth."

W. F. H.

Only death weeps over the brief duration of human happiness, weeps because the bliss of the kiss endures not for ever. And likewise, even after death, lovers kiss. Jannakos and Helena, his plighted bride, die before their wedding day. They die in a kiss and are buried together; but over their grave grew a cypress and an orange tree, and the latter stretched forth its branches on high and kissed the cypress.

The happiest man is the man who has the kiss. f In the Greek romance of Babylonika, which was attributed to Jamblicus, who lived in the second century of the Christian era, three lovers contend for the favour of a young maid. To one she has given the cup out of which she was wont to drink; the second she has garlanded with flowers that she herself has worn; to the third she has given a kiss. Borokos is called on as judge to decide as to which has enjoyed the highest favour, and he unhesitatingly decides the dispute in favour of the last.

The same subject is often the theme of