Sexual Desire

On the Curability of Certain Forms of Insanity, Epilepsy, Catalepsy and Hysteria in Females

As the title of this book implies, I do not intend to occupy the attention of my readers with all the numerous varieties of insanity and other nervous disorders to which females are liable, but only those which I believe to be curable by surgical means. The class of diseases on which I shall dwell are those depending on (or arising from) a loss of nerve tone, caused by continual abnormal irritation of a nerve centre.  

Carmilla

Sometimes after an hour of apathy, my strange and beautiful companion would take my hand and hold it with a fond pressure, renewed again and again; blushing softly, gazing in my face with languid and burning eyes, and breathing so fast that her dress rose and fell with the tumultuous respiration.

The Bride's Prelude

“Sister,” said busy Amelotte 
To listless Aloÿse; 
“Along your wedding-road the wheat 
Bends as to hear your horse's feet, 
And the noonday stands still for heat.” 
Amelotte laughed into the air 
With eyes that sought the sun: 
But where the walls in long brocade 
Were screened, as one who is afraid 
Sat Aloÿse within the shade. 
And even in shade was gleam enough 
To shut out full repose 
From the bride's 'tiring-chamber, which 
Was like the inner altar-niche 
Whose dimness worship has made rich. 

The Sunlight Lay Across My Bed

Birds sang, turf came to the water-edge, and trees grew from it. Away off among the trees I saw beautiful women walking. Their clothes were of many delicate colours and clung to them, and they were tall and graceful and had yellow hair. Their robes trailed over the grass. They glided in and out among the trees, and over their heads hung yellow fruit like large pears of melted gold.

I said, “It is very fair; I would go up and taste the—”

God said, “Wait.”

"Jenny"

     Like a rose shut in a book 

In which pure women may not look, 

For its base pages claim control 

To crush the flower within the soul; 

Where through each dead rose-leaf that clings, 

Pale as transparent psyche-wings, 

To the vile text, are traced such things 

As might make lady’s cheek indeed 

More than a living rose to read; 

So nought save foolish foulness may 

Watch with hard eyes the sure decay; 

And so the life-blood of this rose, 

Puddled with shameful knowledge, flows 

My Secret Life

Some years have passed away since I penned the foregoing, and it is not printed. I have since gone through abnormal phases of amatory life, have done and seen things, had tastes and letches which years ago I thought were the dreams of erotic mad-men; these are all described, the manuscript has grown into unmanageable bulk, shall it, can it be printed? What will be said or thought of me, what become of the manuscript if found when I am dead, better to destroy the whole, it has fulfilled its purpose in amusing me, now let it go to the flames!

In Memoriam H.R.F.

 

Out, out, out into the night,

With the wind bitter north-east and the sea rough;

You have a racking cough and your lungs are weak,

But out, out into the night you go,

So guide you and guard you, Heaven, and fare you well!

 

We have been three lights to one another, and now we are two,

For you go far and alone into the darkness;

But the light in you was clearer and stronger than ours,

For you came straighter from God, and, whereas we had learned,