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Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Delilah


In the midnight of darkness and terror, 
When I would grope nearer to God, 
With my back to a record of error
And the highway of sin I have trod, 
There comes to me shapes I would banish 
The shapes of the deeds I have done; 
And I pray and I plead till they vanish 
All vanish and leave me, save one.

That one, with a smile like the splendour
Of the sun in the middle-day skies 
That one, with a spell that is tender 
That one with a dream in her eyes 
Cometh close, in her rare southern beauty, 
Her languor, her indolent grace; 
And my soul turns its back on its duty
To live in the light of her face.

She touches my cheek, and I quiver 
I tremble with exquisite pains; 
She sighs  like an overcharged river
My blood rushes on through my veins; 
She smiles  and in mad-tiger fashion, 
As a she-tiger fondles her own, 
I clasp her with fierceness and passion, 
And kiss her with shudder and groan.

Once more, in our loves sweet beginning, 
I put away God and the World; 
Once more, in the joys of our sinnings, 
Are the hopes of eternity hurled.
There is nothing my soul lacks or misses
As I clasp the dream-shape to my breast; 
In the passion and pain of her kisses
Life blooms to its richest and best.

O ghost of dead sin unrelenting, 
Go back to the dust, and the sod! 
Too dear and too sweet for repenting, 
Ye stand between me and my God.
If I, by the Throne, should behold you, 
Smiling up with those eyes loved so well, 
Close, close in my arms I would fold you, 
And dropp with you down to sweet Hell! 
In the midnight of darkness and terror, 
When I would grope nearer to God, 
With my back to a record of error
And the highway of sin I have trod, 
There comes to me shapes I would banish 
The shapes of the deeds I have done; 
And I pray and I plead till they vanish 
All vanish and leave me, save one.

That one, with a smile like the splendour
Of the sun in the middle-day skies 
That one, with a spell that is tender 
That one with a dream in her eyes 
Cometh close, in her rare southern beauty, 
Her languor, her indolent grace; 
And my soul turns its back on its duty
To live in the light of her face.

She touches my cheek, and I quiver 
I tremble with exquisite pains; 
She sighs  like an overcharged river
My blood rushes on through my veins; 
She smiles  and in mad-tiger fashion, 
As a she-tiger fondles her own, 
I clasp her with fierceness and passion, 
And kiss her with shudder and groan.

Once more, in our loves sweet beginning, 
I put away God and the World; 
Once more, in the joys of our sinnings, 
Are the hopes of eternity hurled.
There is nothing my soul lacks or misses
As I clasp the dream-shape to my breast; 
In the passion and pain of her kisses
Life blooms to its richest and best.

O ghost of dead sin unrelenting, 
Go back to the dust, and the sod! 
Too dear and too sweet for repenting, 
Ye stand between me and my God.
If I, by the Throne, should behold you, 
Smiling up with those eyes loved so well, 
Close, close in my arms I would fold you, 
And dropp with you down to sweet Hell!



Ella Wheeler Wilcox


Ella Wheeler Wilcox's other poems:
  1. Be Not Content
  2. Bleak Weather
  3. A Bachelor to a Married Flirt
  4. The Phantom Ball
  5. When I Die


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Rudyard Kipling Delilah ("Delilah Aberyswith was a lady")
  • Adam Gordon Delilah ("The sun has gone down, spreading wide on")

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