Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/51

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37
LOVE KISSES

It carries life with it; it even bestows the gift of eternal youth—if one can believe the words of the Duke of Anhalt the minnesinger:

Your mouth is crimson; over its sweet portal
A kindly Genius seems for ever flowing.
If on that mouth a kiss I were bestowing,
Methinks I should in sooth become immortal.

W. F. H.

The Persians, too, had the same idea. The jovial Hafiz laments that "sour wisdom added to old age and virtue" has laid waste his strength, but a remedy is to be found for these:

"Come and drink," the maiden whispered,
"Sin and sweetness, youthful folly,
Lovingly from lips of crimson,
From my bosom's lily chalice,
And live on with strength redoubled."

W. F. H.

And if a kiss is no good, then nought avails. In another passage the same bard says, that were he suddenly on some occasion to feel himself tormented by agony and unrest, no one is to give him bitter medicine—for such he detests—but:

Hand me the foaming juice of the vine,
Jest and sing from your heart to mine,