Exultant, Rabid, Rampant

The thorns which I have reaped are of the tree
I planted,—they have torn me,—and I bleed:
I should have known what fruit would spring from such a seed.

A pearl merchant weighing kisses
against the beauty of my face,
how I possess already that
which I must erase, nurturing

to bursting from within a spark
warriors work their worst against
to gain as if its blaze were haste
crusted with my trust, my faith my

blazon, the crest described my sighs
arising in their horizon
these words thirst to imitate, to
paint without limiting the greige

impact they make, ashes pressing
flesh, taking before it fades this
place my sacred absence shields, then
welcomes, and then anticipates,

when what enemies envious
of us forsake is this love all
touch taste all but annihilates,
this craving his lips trace and waste.

1Lord Byron, Canto IV, Stanza X, Lines 7–9 (88–90 overall of Canto IV) of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, in Lord Byron: The Major Works: Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Jerome J. McGann, published at New York by Oxford University Press in 2008; page 151.