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Edgar Lee Masters (1868–1950). Spoon River Anthology. 1916.

150. Edmund Pollard

I WOULD I had thrust my hands of flesh

Into the disk-flowers bee-infested,

Into the mirror-like core of fire

Of the light of life, the sun of delight.

For what are anthers worth or petals

Or halo-rays? Mockeries, shadows

Of the heart of the flower, the central flame!

All is yours, young passer-by;

Enter the banquet room with the thought;

Don’t sidle in as if you were doubtful

Whether you’re welcome—the feast is yours!

Nor take but a little, refusing more

With a bashful “Thank you,” when you’re hungry.

Is your soul alive? Then let it feed!

Leave no balconies where you can climb;

Nor milk-white bosoms where you can rest;

Nor golden heads with pillows to share;

Nor wine cups while the wine is sweet;

Nor ecstasies of body or soul,

You will die, no doubt, but die while living

In depths of azure, rapt and mated,

Kissing the queen-bee, Life!