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Antinous: A Poem   By: (1888-1935)

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First Page:

ANTINOUS: A POEM

BY

FERNANDO PESSOA

LISBON

1918

ANTINOUS

A POEM

ANTINOUS

A POEM

BY

FERNANDO PESSOA

LISBON MONTEIRO & CO. 190, Rua do Ouro, 192

1918

Printed by «Sociedade Typographica Editora» 100, R. d'Alegria Lisbon

ANTINOUS

It rained outside right into Hadrian's soul.

The boy lay dead On the low couch, on whose denuded whole, To Hadrian's eyes, that at their seeing bled, The shadowy light of Death's eclipse was shed.

The boy lay dead and the day seemed a night Outside. The rain fell like a sick affright Of Nature at her work in killing him. Through the mind's galleries of their past delight The very light of memory was dim.

O hands that clasped erewhile Hadrian's warm hands, That now found them but cold! O hair bound erstwhile with the pressing bands! O eyes too diffidently bold! O bare female male body like A god that dawns into humanity! O lips whose opening redness erst could strike Lust's seats with a soiled art's variety! O fingers skilled in things not to be named! O tongue which, counter tongued, the throbbed brows flamed! O glory of a wrong lust pillowed on Raged conciousness's spilled suspension! These things are things that now must be no more. The rain is silent, and the Emperor Sinks by the couch. His grief is like a rage, For the gods take away the life they give And spoil the beauty they made live. He weeps and knows that every future age Is staring at him out of the to be. His love is on a universal stage. A thousand unborn eyes weep with his misery.

Antinous is dead, is dead forever, Is dead forever and the loves lament. Venus herself, that was Adonis' lover, Seeing him again, having lived, dead again, Lends her great skyey grief now to be blent With Hadrian's pain.

Now is Apollo sad because the stealer Of his white body is forever cold. In vain shall kisses on that nippled point Covering his heart beats' silent place implore His life again to ope his eyes and feel her Presence along his veins this fortress hold Of love. Now no caressing hands anoint With growing joy that body's lusting lore.

The rain falls, and he lies like one who hath Forgotten all the gestures of his love And lies awake waiting their hot return. But all his vices' art is now with Death: He lies with her, whose sex cannot him move, Whose hand, were't not cold, still ne'er his could burn. Lilies were on his cheeks and roses too. His eyes were sad in joy sometimes. He said Oft in his close abandonments, that woo Love to be more love than love can be, «Kiss My eyelids till my closed eyes seem to guess The kiss they feel laid in my heart's breast bed.»

O Hadrian, what shall now thy cold life be? What boots it to be emperor over all? His absence o'er thy visible empery Throws a dim pall. Now are thy nights widowed of love and kisses, Now are thy days robbed of the night's awaiting, Now are thy lips purposeless and thy blisses No longer of the size of thy life, mating Thy empire with thy love's bold tendernesses.

Now are thy doors closed upon beauty and joy. Throw ashes on thy head! Lo, lift thine eyes and see the lovely boy! Naked he lies upon that memoried bed; By thine own hand he lies uncovered. There was he wont thy dangling sense to cloy, And uncloy with more cloying, and annoy With newer uncloying till thy senses bled.

His hand and mouth knew gamuts musical Of vices thy worn spine was hurt to follow. Sometimes it seemed to thee that all was hollow In sense in each new straining of sucked lust. Then still new crimes of fancy would he call To thy shaken flesh, and thou wouldst tremble and fall Back on thy cushions with thy mind's sense hushed.

«Beautiful was my love, yet melancholy. He had that art, of love's arts most unholy, Of being lithely sad among lust's rages. Now the Nile gave him up, the eternal Nile. Under his wet locks Death's blue paleness wages Now war upon our pity with sad smile»... Continue reading book >>




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