Sheba, Sheba, open your eyes!
The apes defile the ivory temple,
the peacocks chant dark blasphemies:
but I take your body for mine to trample,
I laugh where once I bent the knees.
Yea, I take your mouth for mine to crumple,
drunk with the wisdom of your flesh.
But wisdom never was content
and flesh when ripened falls at las:
what will I have when the seasons mint
your golden breasts into golden dust?
Let me arise and follow the river
back to its source: I would bathe my bones
among the chaste rivuletsthat quiver
out of the clean primeval stones.
Yea, bathe me again in the early vision
my soul tongued forth before your mouth
made of a kiss a fierce contrition
salting the waters of my youth…
Sheba, Sheba, close my eyes!
The apes have ravished the inner temple,
the peacocks rend the sacred veil
and on the manna feast their fill-
but chaliced drowsily in your ample
arms, with each brief bliss that dies
my own deep sepulcher I seal.