Many have loved you with lips and fingers
And lain with you till the moon went out;
Many have brought you lover’s gifts;
And some have left their dreams on your doorstep.
But I who am youth among your lovers
Come like an acolyte to worship,
My thirsting blood restrained by reverence,
My heart a wordless prayer.
The candles of desire are lighted,
I bow my head, afraid before you,
A mendicant who craves your bounty
Ashamed of what small gifts he brings.
From On a Grey Thread (Will Ransom, 1923) by Elsa Gidlow. This poem is in the public domain.