There are three kisses that I call to mind,
And I will sing their secrets as I go.
The first, a kiss too courteous to be kind,
Was such a kiss as monks and maidens know;
As sharp as frost, as blameless as the snow.
The second kiss, ah God! I feel it yet,
And evermore my soul will loathe the same.
The toys and joys of fate I may forget,
But not the touch of that divided shame:
It clove my lips; it burnt me like a flame.
The third, the final kiss, is one I use
Morning and noon and night; and not amiss.
Sorrow be mine if such I do refuse!
And when I die, be love, enrapt in bliss,
Re-sanctified in Heaven by such a kiss.
by Eric Mackay