Page:The Kiss and its History.djvu/61

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LOVE KISSES

"Ye gods, what are my feelings. Her lips are softer than the rose's leaf, her mouth is sweet as honey, and her kiss inflicts on me more pain than a bee's sting. I have often kissed my kids, I have often kissed my lambs, but never have I known aught like this. My pulse is beating fast, my heart throbs, it is as if I were about to suffocate, yet, nevertheless, I want to have another kiss. Strange, never-suspected pain! Has Chloe, I wonder, drunk some poisonous draught ere she kissed me? How comes it that she herself has not died of it?"

Impelled, as it were, by some irresistible force, Daphnis wanders back to Chloe; he finds her asleep, but dares not awake her: "See how her eyes slumber and her mouth breathes. The scent of apple-blossoms is not so delicious as her breath. But I dare not kiss her. Her kiss stings me to the heart, and drives me as mad as if I had eaten fresh honey." Daphnis' fear of kisses disappears, however, later on, directly his simplicity has made room for greater self-consciousness. That a kiss is like the sting of a bee, or pains like a wound, is a metaphor which many poets have used, and