The King's Consort
by Emily Pauline Johnson
Love, was it yesternoon, or years agone,
You took in yours my hands,
And placed me close beside you on the throne
Of Oriental lands?
The truant hour came back at dawn to-day,
Across the hemispheres,
And bade my sleeping soul retrace its way
These many hundred years.
And all my wild young life returned, and ceased
The years that lie between,
When you were King of Egypt, and The East,
And I was Egypt's queen.
I feel again the lengths of silken gossamer enfold
My body and my limbs in robes of emerald and gold.
I feel the heavy sunshine, and the weight of languid heat
That crowned the day you laid the royal jewels at my feet.
You wound my throat with jacinths, green and glist'ning serpent-wise,
My hot, dark throat that pulsed beneath the ardour of your eyes;
And centuries have failed to cool the memory of your hands
That bound about my arms those massive, pliant golden bands.
You wreathed around my wrists long ropes of coral and of jade,
And beaten gold that clung like coils of kisses love-inlaid;
About my naked ankles tawny topaz chains you wound,
With clasps of carven onyx, ruby-rimmed and golden bound.
But not for me the Royal Pearls to bind about my hair,