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This coiled hair on your head, unrolled,
Fell down you like a gorgeous snake
The Roman girls were wont, of old,
When Rome there was, for coolness' sake
To let lie curling o'er their bosoms.
Dear lory, may his beak retain
Ever its delicate rose stain,
As if the wounded lotus-blossoms
Had marked their thief to know again!
Stay longer yet, for others' sake
Than mine! What should your chamber do ?
-With all its rarities that ache
In silence while day lasts, but wake
At night-time and their life renew,
Suspended just to pleasure you
Who brought against their will together
These objects, and, while day lasts, weave
Around them such a magic tether
That dumb they look : your harp, believe,
With all the sensitive tight strings
Which dare not speak, now to itself
Breathes slumberously, as if some elf
Went in and out the chords, his wings
Make murmur, wheresoe'er they graze,
As an angel may, between the maze
Of midnight palace-pillars, on
And on, to sow God's plagues, have gone
Through guilty glorious Babylon.
And while such murmurs flow, the nymph
Bends o'er the harp-top from her shell
As the dry limpet for the lymph
Come with a tune he knows so well.
And how your statues' hearts must swell !
And how your pictures must descend
To see each other, friend with friend !
Oh, could you take them by surprise,
You'd find Schidone's eager Duke
Doing the quaintest courtesies
To that prim saint by Haste-thee-Luke!
And, deeper into her rock den,
Bold Castelfranco's Magdalen
You 'd find retreated from the ken
Of that robed counsel-keeping Ser-
As if the Tizian thinks of her,
And is not, rather, gravely bent
On seeing for himself what toys
Are these, his progeny invent,
What litter now the board employs
Whereon he signed a document
That got him murdered! Each enjoys
Its night so well, you cannot break
The sport up : so, indeed must make
More stay with me, for others' sake.
Tomorrow, if a harp-string, say,
Is used to tie the jasmine back
That overfloods my room with sweets,
Contrive your Zorzi somehow meets
My Zanze! If the ribbon 's black,
The Three are watching : keep away !
Your gondola-let Zorzi wreathe
A mesh of water-weeds about
Its prow, as if he unaware
Had struck some quay or bridge-foot stair !
That I may throw a paper out
As you and he go underneath.
There 's Zanze's vigilant taper ; safe are we.
Only one minute more to-night with me?
Resume your past self of a month ago !
Be you the bashful gallant, I will be
The lady with the colder breast than snow. .
Now bow you, as becomes, nor touch my hand
More than I touch yours when I step to land, -
And say, “All thanks, Siora !”—
Heart to heart
And lips to lips! Yet once more, ere we part,
Clasp me and make me thine, as mine thou art !
He is surprised, and stabbed.
It was ordained to be so, sweet !-and best
Comes now, beneath thine eyes, upon thy breast.
Still kiss me! Care not for the cowards ! Care
Only to put aside thy beauteous hair
My blood will hurt! The Three, I do not scorn,
To death, because they never lived: but I
Have lived indeed, and so—(yet one more kiss)—can
Oh, what a dawn of day!
How the March sun feels like May!
All is blue again
After last night's rain,
And the South dries the hawthorn-spray.
Only, my Love's away!
I'd as lief that the blue were grey.
Runnels, which rillets swell,
Must be dancing down the dell,
With a foaming head
On the beryl bed
Paven smooth as a hermits cell :
Each with a tale to tell,
Could my love but attend as well.
Dearest, three months ago !
When we lived blocked-up with snow,-
When the wind would edge
In and in his wedge,
In, as far as the point could go-
Not to our ingle, though,
Where we loved each the other so!
Laughs with so little cause !
We devised games out of straws.
We would try and trace
One another's face
In the ash, as an artist draws;
Free on each other's flaws,
How we chattered like two church daws !
What 's in the “ Times”?—a scold
At the Emperor deep and cold;
He has taken a bride
To his gruesome side, That 's as fair as himself is bold :
There they sit ermine-stoled, And she powders her hair with gold.
Fancy the Pampas' sheen!
Miles and miles of gold and green
Where the sunflowers blow
In a solid glow, And to break now and then the screen
Black neck and eyeballs keen, Up a wild horse leaps between!