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This poem is taken from PN Review 100, Volume 21 Number 2, November - December 1994.

Four Poems Laura Riding

The Sweet Ascetic
Find me the thing to make me less
Delivered to my earthliness,
Some rarer love to live upon,
A berry grown in Avalon,
Something that will, in this emprise,
Suffice me to etherealize
The coarser strain and purify
The flesh that had preferred to die.

Find me this thing and plant it near
My garden gate so that some day,
When I am going out of it,
I'll stoop to pick the ripest bit
And, humming as I walk away,
Smile just a little and disappear.

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