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Across the rotting pads in the lily lake
Her gesture floated toward the iris bed,
Wrapped in a whispered perfume of the dead,
And her gaze followed slowly in its wake.
Now was the summons come she must obey,
For Beauty pleaded from the charnal house,
For violet nights and violent carouse
To free her from the cerements of decay.


Crapulous hands reach out to strangle thee,
And every moment is a winding-sheet,
With bats to chant corruption's litany.
Be thou a torch to flash fanfaronade,
And as the earth crumbles beneath thy feet
Flaunt thou the glitter of a new brocade!