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Ad Manus Puellae Post by :Norhardt Category :Poems Author :Ernest Dowson Date :October 2011 Read :2779

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Ad Manus Puellae

I was always a lover of ladies' hands!
Or ever mine heart came here to tryst,
For the sake of your carved white hands' commands;
The tapering fingers, the dainty wrist;
The hands of a girl were what I kissed.

I remember an hand like a fleur-de-lys
When it slid from its silken sheath, her glove;
With its odours passing ambergris:
And that was the empty husk of a love.
Oh, how shall I kiss your hands enough?

They are pale with the pallor of ivories;
But they blush to the tips like a curled sea-shell:
What treasure, in kingly treasuries,
Of gold, and spice for the thurible,
Is sweet as her hands to hoard and tell?

I know not the way from your finger-tips,
Nor how I shall gain the higher lands,
The citadel of your sacred lips:
I am captive still of my pleasant bands,
The hands of a girl, and most your hands.

(The end)
Ernest Dowson's poem: Ad Manus Puellae

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Flos Lunae
I would not alter thy cold eyes, Nor trouble the calm fount of speech With aught of passion or surprise. The heart of thee I cannot reach: I would not alter thy cold eyes! I would not alter thy cold eyes; Nor have thee smile, nor make thee weep: Though all my life droops down and dies, Desiring thee, desiring sleep, I would not alter thy cold eyes. I would not alter thy cold eyes; I would not change thee if I might, To whom my prayers for incense

Growth Growth

I watched the glory of her childhood change, Half-sorrowful to find the child I knew, (Loved long ago in lily-time) Become a maid, mysterious and strange, With fair, pure eyes--dear eyes, but not the eyes I knew Of old, in the olden time! Till on my doubting soul the ancient good Of her dear childhood in the new disguise Dawned, and I hastened to adore The glory of her waking maidenhood, And found the old tenderness within her deepening eyes, But kinder