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Oscar Wilde (1854–1900).  Poems.  1881.

31. La Bella Donna della mia Mente


MY limbs are wasted with a flame, 
  My feet are sore with travelling, 
For calling on my Lady’s name 
  My lips have now forgot to sing. 
  
O Linnet in the wild-rose brake         5
  Strain for my Love thy melody, 
O Lark sing louder for love’s sake, 
  My gentle Lady passeth by. 
  
She is too fair for any man 
  To see or hold his heart’s delight,  10
Fairer than Queen or courtezan 
  Or moon-lit water in the night. 
  
Her hair is bound with myrtle leaves, 
  (Green leaves upon her golden hair!) 
Green grasses through the yellow sheaves  15
  Of autumn corn are not more fair. 
  
Her little lips, more made to kiss 
  Than to cry bitterly for pain, 
Are tremulous as brook-water is, 
  Or roses after evening rain.  20
  
Her neck is like white melilote 
  Flushing for pleasure of the sun, 
The throbbing of the linnet’s throat 
  Is not so sweet to look upon. 
  
As a pomegranate, cut in twain,  25
  White-seeded, is her crimson mouth, 
Her cheeks are as the fading stain 
  Where the peach reddens to the south. 
  
O twining hands! O delicate 
  White body made for love and pain!  30
O House of love! O desolate 
  Pale flower beaten by the rain! 


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