Codex text

When first I summoned her, she was a rose,
Unwithering, unchanging, and unthorned,
A spirit of the purest love one knows,
Who never hated, coveted, or scorned.

A second time I drew her 'cross the Veil,
And shared a walk, a dance, a stolen kiss;
With such a perfect beauty, pure and pale,
No woman could compare, no man resist.

Then in my weakness I essayed a third,
Tho' magisters their warnings did impart.

She broke my binding with a single word,
And said this smiling as she clutched my heart:
"Though love I was, your passion's changing fire
Has forged this spirit into cruel Desire."

—Sonnet 126, "The Lover and His Spirit", from A Chant for Dreamers by Magister Oratius

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