Bessie Craigmyle

From Poems and Translations (1886)

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Lo! this is she that ruled the world. Draw near:
Over her lowers the shadow of sudden death,
To-morrow, without heart-beat, pulse, or breath,
Octavian's band shall find her lying here.
There, at her side, among the fig-leaves sere,
Coils the cerastes hid, unseen by us:
Yet is, within those great eyes luminous,
No fear, nor any moment's touch of fear.
Let be. She is but tracing back the path
Trod through the life that is to end this night,
Thinking of all the dead days' dear delight,
Lute-music, wine-cup, dance, and revelry,
The sensuous stillness of the scented bath,
Lip-touch, and clasp, and arms of Antony.