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Had I but strength enough, combined,

Of will and flesh, were I more kind,

I would resist the tempting nip

Of apple hue on cinnamon lip.

Objections I would take to heart,

To noble purpose turn my arts.

We peaceful rest in virtue’d find -

But lost these goals, when, intertwined,

The night finds us. How then can I

Endure your seeming sophistry!

Your body is not all to me,

My Byronic bel esprit.

Were that so, less arduous

‘Twould seem to be rejected thus.

For men there are to take your place

If you should spurn my lust’s embrace.

But men there aren’t who never lie,

With smiles wide as western skies,

Whose ruminations make me laugh,

Who follow each chimeric path

My thoughts should take, no men whose touch

Can soothe my fevered soul as much.

Your ardent soul that, like a fire

Draws a moth, makes me aspire

To grasp that candle, though it burns

And all my flesh to liquid turns.

We are but young, and yet my lust

Is rusted, with a layer of dust.

To mind and heart I may lay claim,

Your body yet is free of blame.

But we are young! And full of life!

And this vain world wills naught but strife.

So let us snatch our lives away

From time. Let us forsake the day.

Let every scoring of my nails

Heal every scratch of your travails.

And yet it doesn’t seem quite right

To solve day’s troubles in the night.

And I’d not wish you to regret

The gift that I would wish to grant.

Though moment's lapse caused me no pain,

Surrendering to mischance, I gained -

Such missteps you would not endure,

Resenting my dishonest lures.

Nor would I be imprudent choice

Unmentioned but in lowered voice.

So I will waste my youth with thee,

While sorely counted hours flee.

In silent torture I will wait.

Our beauties cruel Apollo takes.

For though I chafe in airy cage,

'Hap my investment shall pay in age.

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