(aka Browning)


How sweet she seems, how virginal in sleep

Her raven hair a swirling pool of night

Outspread upon the pillows pallid plain.


And how her peeping shell pink extends these

And loves the shadowed column of her neck.


Oh that neck, how soft it seems, and warm.

Warm with the pulsing life of living Blood.


Yet I will kiss it  knowing what I do.


In vain pretence, I am not what I am

To lose myself in that ecstatic kiss

To feel new life – vibrant lynching, warm

Coursing my cold and mongering veins

Crypt cold, death in life and life in death


What now, she wakes, just as my searching lips

Would seek the hallowed, hallowed vital place

Concealing the cortoid. There my child

No need for such alarm. I am a guest

Seeking my room, you know, the ancient house

Reminds me of the maze of Hampton Court.


Your father, call him if you will, he’ll hear,

When telling me how I could find my room.

Said left and left again, or was it right

No matter, as you see, I came in here

And found a sleeping beauty in my bed


I seek to sustain myself on borrowed life.

You too would be a VAMPIRE and remain

Your present age, what is it, sweet fifteen?


For untold years until you were released

At cruel crossroads by a plunging stake

That pierced your heart. Or till a silver bullet

Puts an end to “LIFE”. Often I have thought

Of suicide but being already dead,

After a fashion, cannot find a way

To end the spark of life I still possess.


Now look into my eyes and go to sleep

Relax and drift away and go to sleep

Breath slow and deep relax and go to sleep

And do not deer, relax and go to sleep

Deeper to sleep deeper, deeper, deep.


In calm and healing sleep. Relax and sleep.

She is asleep and I must make my way.

Unsatisfied, away, back to my tomb.

And must ignore the hunger of my veins,

That screams and clamours for the kiss of life.


Of life for me, of Death for her, a drug

For worse than opium, cocaine or heroin,

Whose lack now tears, my wrongdoing  neves to shreds

Ah that sweet neck, and can I go away?


And here I left to “find” my room again.

I could not help but stand and gaze a while

And would in best tradition risk a kiss

If you were still asleep. Now settle down

To sleep, and leave an aged man his dreams.


Not old! Why! I am older than you think.

Seems a hundred years since I was young.

Now sleep! You smile and ask a goodnight kiss.

Oh God! Such innocence would make a Satyr weep.

My child, I’ll tell you who and what I am!

No guest am I, I’ll smile and show my teeth.


White are they and sharp, accused points

That injure in love and make of passion Death

Nay, worse than death. You do not understand!

Then look across the room to that fair glass.


That prettily reflects your cosy bed.

See! See yourself and I am standing by.

Well! Where am I, oh where on earth am I?


And if I gave a kiss then you would die.

And never die for soon, beyond volition

A strange compulsive force would seize your limbs

As in uneasy sleep within the tomb

You lay awaiting it, and you would rise

And prowl the night to find a sleeping man

For whom to be a succubus, as I

An incubus for maiden dreams of love


H SV Beechey