The alluringest sleep by far is flesh
Mandrake on an ordinary day.
The women on the street are a walking wish,
And the children come out to play.
The warriors in Homer disdained Paris
Because he liked love a little too much.
Within a tangle of sheets and hair, his
Killers skill had lost its touch.
I, a man of a softer, decadent age,
Always had sympathy for Pariss plight,
Preferring a musky oblivion to rage,
A naked caress to a fight.
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 21 Number 7, on page 33
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