The Sphinx (Oscar Wilde 1854-1900)
In a dim corner of my room
For longer than my fancy thinks,
A beautiful and silent Sphinx
Has watched me through the shifting gloom.
Inviolate and immobile
She does not rise she does not stir
For silver moons are nought to her
And nought to her the suns that reel.
Red follows grey across the air,
The waves of moonlight ebb and flow
But with the Dawn she does not go
And in the night-time she is there.
Dawn follows Dawn and Nights grow old
And all the while this curious cat
Lies couching on the Chinese mat
With eyes of satin rimmed with gold.
Upon the mat she lies and leers
And on the tawny throat of her
Flutters the soft and fur
Or ripples to her pointed ears.
Come forth my lovely languorous Sphinx!
And put your head upon my knee!
And let me stroke your throat and see
Your body spotted like the Lynx!