A Better Woe

Of all my desert days
Thou art the only one
Upon whose sandy face
A strip of pleasure’s foliage trembling grows;
Of all the winding ways,
Which with my rapture shone
But one can I retrace,
And there the barren breast of beauty glows.

Of all the dread desires,
That beat within me still,
One shakes the sacred fear
And hurls me into the arms of her below;
But oh, how life suspires—
How soon after the thrill
Of joy I shudder, I hear
My murmuring soul pine for a better woe.

From Myrtle and Myrrh (The Gorham Press, 1905) by Ameen Rihani. This poem is in the public domain.