Sonnet Macabre

By Theodore Wratislaw

sonnet_macabreI love you for the grief that lurks within

Your languid spirit, and because you wear

Corruption with a vague and childish air,

And with your beauty know the depths of sin;
Because shame cuts and holds you like a gin,

And virtue dies in you slain by despair,

Since evil has you tangled in its snare

And triumphs on the soul good cannot win.
I love you since you know remorse and tears,

And in your troubled loveliness appears

The spot of ancient crimes that writhe and hiss:
I love you for your hands that calm and bless,

The perfume of your sad and slow caress,

The avid poison of your subtle kiss.


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