When you have bathed in the river
On the moon's third day,
You make yourself, ah, so the more to be desired
By slipping on a robe the colour of your body.
Tell me, child, are three baskets of saffron enough
To colour your breasts and your arms and your face?
No other girl knows, like you, how to entice me,
Walking alone in the shadows of the palm trees.
None has your tickling gestures, your enflaming eyes--
So young, so smooth, and so flower fresh,
You must have more men silly about you
Than there are corners in your bedroom to hide them.
In the morning when I come to see you under the verandah
Just for the pleasure of talking to you;
Or in the evening when I curry favour with the poulterer
Just for the pleasure of feeling myself near you;
Or at night when my hand seeks to clasp you
Through the hole pierced in the planking by your bed;
Your mother can say all she likes,
Reproaches, insults, swear-words. I accept all in advance.
But I conjure you do not refuse me
A quite small corner of your bedroom in which to hide.
From the Siamese
Rendered by Powys Mathers