by Arlo Bates
The soft, warm night wind flutters
Up from the dim lagoon,
While the timorous shadows hide them
From the red new-risen moon ;
The scent of the jasmine lingers
Like a languorous pain divine,
Till the night-moth reels in its fragrance,
Drunken as if with wine.
Oh, jasmine fair;
Oh, southern night most rare !
The warm air beats with passion
As some hot bosom throbs,
While an amorous night-bird murmurs,
As its bliss found vent in sobs ;
The breath of the jasmine pulses,
It comes and goes on the wind ;
Could one climb o’er its lattice
What bliss might he not find !
Oh, jasmine blest ;
What dreams of cradled rest !
A spark from the casement flickers,
And touches the jasmine’s bloom,
Till the blossoms glow like star gems
As they gleam in the fragrant gloom.
I know not what breath from their chalice
Has ‘stirred my soul like wine,
Till I reel like the drunken night-moth
With love’s keen pain divine.
Oh, jasmine sweet,
Why speeds the night so fleet?