A lily in a twilight place?
A moonflow’r in the lonely night?—
Strange beauty of a woman’s face
The rain that hangs a star’s green ray
Slim on a leaf-point’s restlessness,
Is not so glimmering green and gray
As was her dress.
I drew her dark hair from her eyes,
And in their deeps beheld a while
Such shadowy moonlight as the skies
Of Hell may smile.
She held her mouth up redly wan,
And burning cold,—I bent and kissed
Such rosy snow as some wild dawn
Makes of a mist.
God shall not take from me that hour,
When round my neck her white arms clung!
When ‘neath my lips, like some fierce flower,
Her white throat swung!
Or words she murmured while she leaned!
Witch-words, she holds me softly by,—
The spell that binds me to a fiend
Until I die.
- Madison Julius Cawein, The Vampire, 1896
Categories: Poetry and Prose