The ruddy fire-glow, like her sister’s eyes,
Flickered on her bare breasts and licked along
The ripeness of her savage flanks; a tongue
Of darkness curled between her restless thighs.
Black as the Syrian night, on her young head
Clustered the tendrils of their ancient vine;
The cave gaped with its drunken mouth; the wine
Babbled, unceasing, from the old man’s bed:
‘I have two daughters …let them serve your need
…virgins… but these, my guests … you understand’—
She crept in and lay down. Her Promised Land
Lay waiting for the sower with his seed.
She felt him stir; she felt herself embraced;
The tough old arms bit hard on loin and breast;
The great beard smothered her. She was possessed.
A lioness roared abruptly in the waste.
But Lot’s grim heart was far away. Beside
The Jordan stream, in other days, he stood,
And kept the great beast, raging, from her brood,
And drove his javelin through her tawny hide.