The Temptation of Saint Anthony, by Arthur Symons

The Temptation of Saint Anthony

After a design by Fé licien Rops The Cross, the Cross is tainted! O most Just,
Be merciful, and save me from this snare.
The Tempter lures me as I bend in prayer
Before the sacred symbol of our trust.
Yea, that most Holy of Holies feeds my lust,
The body of thy Christ; for, unaware,
Even as I kneel and pray, lo, She is there,
The temptress, she the wanton; and she hath thrust
The bruisè d body off, and all her own,
Shameless, she stretches on the cross, arms wide,
Limbs pendent, in libidinous mockery.
She draws mine eyes to her--Ah, sin unknown!
She smiles, she triumphs; but the Crucified
Falls off into the darkness with a cry. - Arthur Symons

Arthur Symons