Love her not, lovely though she be
Watch warily: there lies
A glint of ghoulish ancestry
Deep in her green bright eyes.
Half-closed, malign, and cold, they turn
From blessed morning light,
But like fierce chrysoberyls burn
When lamps are lit at night.
Her song's a lure, her laughter mocks,
And those white arms can wave
Like water-wraiths' above the rocks,
That charm men to their grave.
Her light feet lead brave dreams to nought,
Her clinging hands destroy,
She cannot think, or toys with thought
But as a fay might toy.
As a young witch in woodlands grey
For sport might pose and move
A dead maid's limbs, so doth she play
With what she calleth love.
Thy murdered heart in memory's lair
She will devour again,
Like as a wolfish hound might tear
His master lying slain.
That rose and cream-white beauty owns
No white soul dwelling there,
Those red lips' sensuous semitones
Know nought of truth - beware!
Edwin Percy Habberton Lulham