SALOME

Proud panoply of fans and frankincense,
Gold blare of trumpets, flowered robes of state,
Unnumbered symbols of magnificence,
To lead Salome through the palace gate,
Where loud the prophet of the Lord blasphemes
The red abominations of her race
And chides her for her flesh-entangled dreams
and turns his back upon her painted face.

Thus do we turn from some red-shadowed lust
That through the broken forests of the brain
Weaves silently with tentacles out-thrust,
Groping in darkness, but for one in vain,
For like a sliding sun the soul has fled
Leaving a princess and a vultured head.

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