George Meredith: The Rape of Aurora

NEVER, O never,
Since dewy sweet Flora
Was ravished by Zephyr,
Was such a thing heard
In the valleys so hollow!
Till rosy Aurora,
Uprising as ever,
Bright Phosphor to follow,
Pale Phoebe to sever,
Was caught like a bird
To the breast of Apollo!

Wildly she flutters,
And flushes all over
With passionate mutters
Of shame to the hush
Of his amorous whispers:
But O such a lover
Must win when he utters,
Thro’ rosy red lispers,
The pains that discover
The wishes that gush
From the torches of Hesperus.

One finger just touching
The Orient chamber,
Unflooded the gushing
Of light that illumed
All her lustrous unveiling.
On clouds of gold amber,
Her limbs richly blushing,
She lay sweetly wailing,
In odours that gloomed
On the God as he bloomed
O’er her loveliness paling.

Great Pan in his covert
Beheld the rare glistening,
The cry of the love-hurt,
The sigh and the kiss
Of the latest close mingling:
But love, thought he, listening,
Will not do a dove hurt,
I know,—and a tingling,
Latent with bliss,
Prickt thro’ him, I wis,
For the Nymph he was singling.


First published in Poems, 1851.

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