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( A very old one which I have not published before.  Not a real romance.

Imagined ones are perhaps more thrilling.)



Where should we meet, except on Prospect Hill?

(Anticipation feeds sublimity).

Wan ray of hope gilds the smog-bound tiles. Thrill

of assignation’s anonymity

lifts me beyond pagoda roofs, above

blurred Beijing skyline. If by fate,

I flew with wings of that proverbial dove,

I’d soar forever on a Willow plate.

With brandished whip Time sets off in pursuit,

but cannot bring me down to earth. This day

forbidden cities and illicit fruit

seem tangible and not mere fantasy.

But you are many years too late. Oh, why

am I so punctual, self-aware and old?

You might well be eunuch; dowager I:

for while you’ve kept me waiting, I’ve grown cold.