Peril upon the paths of this desire
Lies like the natural darkness of the night,
For me unpeopled; let him hence retire
Whom as a child a shadow could affright;
And fortune speed him from this dubious place
Where roses blenched or blackened of their hue,
Pallid and stemless float on undulant space,
Or clustered hidden shock the hand with dew.
Whom as a child the night's obscurity
Did not alarm, let him alone remain,
Lanterned but by the longing in the eye,
And warmed but by the fever in the vein,
To lie with me, sentried from the wrath and scorn
By sleepless Beauty and her polished thorn.