The Litany of the Seven Kisses
I kiss thy hands—thy hands, whose fingers are delicate and pale as the petals of the white lotus.
I kiss thy hair, which has the lustre of black jewels, and is darker than Lethe, flowering by midnight through the moonless slumber of poppy-scented lands.
I kiss thy brow, which resembles the rising moon in a valley of cedars.
I kiss thy cheeks, where lingers a faint flush, like the reflection of a rose upheld to an urn of alabaster.
I kiss thine eyelids, and liken them to the purple-veined flowers that close beneath the oppression of a tropic evening, in a land where the sunsets are bright as the flames of burning amber.
I kiss thy throat, whose ardent pallor is the pallor of marble warmed by the autumn sun.
I kiss thy mouth, which has the savour and perfume of fruits agleam with spray from a magic fountain, in the secret Paradise that we alone shall find; a Paradise whence they that come shall nevermore depart, for the waters thereof are Lethe, and the fruit is the fruit of the tree of Life.