The Litany of the Seven Kisses

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I

I kiss thy hands—thy hands, whose fingers are delicate and pale as the petals of the white lotus.

II

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.

III

I kiss thy brow, which resembles the rising moon in a valley of cedars.

IV

I kiss thy cheeks, where lingers a faint flush, like the reflection of a rose upheld to an urn of alabaster.

V

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.

VI

I kiss thy throat, whose ardent pallor is the pallor of marble warmed by the autumn sun.

VII

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.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.


The author died in 1961, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 50 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.