Hidden in the recessed chamber,
draped in silence firmly fastened,
locked within the chest of amber,
was the treasure, secret and so rare.
Peer beneath the blackness hiding,
behold discretion there abiding,
where is placed for keep and caring,
the contraband of love all-daring,
a furtive prize with none yet sharing.
Undisturbed, undisclosed, and undeclared,
eluding all who would discover,
was the cup undrunk of love's unhad and longed for lover.
But lo! the fitted key unlocks the crimson closet,
and at once the mystery is met.
There in Cupid's sanctum fortress,
sits in pedestaled repose the golden chalice of unspent passion,
displaying all its fawned and idol fashion.
Blushed and bodied nectar of lush and lavish vine,
purest sweetness of unfermented wine,
intoxicating scent of kindness, warmth that welcomes, charm divine.
And on the red and resined surface,
within the goblet's circling frame,
captured in the lucent liquid's plum and polished pane,
Captivating vision of feminine enchantment,
with face as fair and comely as form is sculpted fine,
curved and contoured figure,
bounded by the trace of soft and tapered line.
But grief attends this adoration,
as the temple's guard of conscience speaks a frightful warning,
that lips illicit drink but poison as their portion,
and naught but death's rage and scorning
rewards desire's stolen consummation.
Still, there is left this precious consolation:
though forbidden and never to be tasted,
unconsumed it remains for hope unwasted.
So draw the curtain and drop the veil,
shut the door and bar it strong,
that sealing up the cherished grail,
devotion's sacrifice of self-denial may keep it from all wrong,
and on the altar of affection preserve it unharmed and in perfection,
for the solitary bliss of memory's reflection,