women in love: a mendicant who craves your bounty


Many have loved you with lips and fingers
And lain with you till the moon went out;
Many have brought you lover’s gifts!
And some have left their dreams on your doorstep.

But I who am youth among your lovers
Come like an acolyte to worship,
My thirsting blood restrained by reverence,
My heart a wordless prayer.

The candles of desire are lighted,
I bow my head, afraid before you,
A mendicant who craves your bounty
Ashamed of what small gifts she brings.

Text: Love’s Acolyte, Elsa Gidlow (1898-1986)
Image: Subjects unknown, courtesy of John Van Noate

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