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You brush it, till I grow aware
Who wants me, and wide ope I burst. 55
The bee's kiss, now!
Kiss me as if you entered gay
My heart at some noonday, -
A bud that dares not disallow
The claim: so all is rendered up;

60 And passively its shattered cup, Over your head, to sleep I bow.

He sings: What are we two? I am a Jew, And carry thee, farther than friends can

pursue, To a feast of our tribe: Where they need thee to bribe The devil that blasts them unless he

imbibe Thy . . . Scatter the vision forever! And

now, As of old, I am I, thou art thou! 70 Say again, what we are? The sprite of a star, I lure thee above where the destinies bar My plumes their full play Till a ruddier ray

75 Than my pale one announce there is with

ering away Some . . . Scatter the vision forever! And

now, As of old, I am I, thou art thou !

Wings, not legs and feet, shall move

Snow-white must they spring, to blend
With your flesh; but I intend
They shall deepen to the end,
Broader, into burning gold,
Till both wings crescent-wise enfold
Your perfect self, from 'neath your feet
To o'er your head, — where, lo, they meet
As if a million sword-blades hurled
Defiance from you to the world!
Rescue me thou, the only real!
And scare away this mad ideal
That came, nor motions to depart!
Thanks! Now, stay ever as thou art:

Still he muses:
What if the Three should catch at last
Thy serenader? While there's cast
Paul's cloak about my head, and fast
Gian pinions me, Himself has past
His stylet through my back: I reel;
And ... is it thou I feel?
They trail me,

these three godless knaves, Past every church that saints and saves; Nor stop till, where the cold sea raves By Lido's wet accursed graves, They scoop mine, roll me to its brink, And ... on thy breast I sink!




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She replies, musing: Dip your arm o'er the boat-side, elbow

deep, As I do, - thus: were death so unlike

sleep, Caught this way? Death's to fear from

Aame or steel,
Or poison, doubtless; but from water

feel! -
Go find the bottom!

Would you stay me? — There! Now pluck a great blade of that ribbon

grass To plait in where the foolish jewel was I Aung away: since you have praised my

hair, 'Tis proper to be choice in what I wear.



He speaks, musing: Lie back: could thought of mine improve

you? From this shoulder let there spring A wing; from this, another wing:




He speaks: Row home? must we

row home? Too surely Know I where its front's demurely Over the Giudecca piled: Window just with window mating, Door on door exactly waiting, All's the set face of a child.

130 But behind it, where's a trace Of the staidness and reserve, And formal lines without a curve, In the same child's playing-face? No two windows look one way

135 O'er the small sea-water thread Below them.

Ah, the autumn day I, passing, saw you overhead! First, out a cloud of curtain blew, Then a sweet cry, and last came you To catch your lory that must needs Escape just then, of all times then, To peck a tall plant's fleecy seeds, And make me happiest of men. I scarce could breathe to see you reach So far back o'er the balcony To catch him ere he climbed too high Above you in the Smyrna peach – That quick the round smooth cord of gold, This coiled hair on your head, unrolled, 150 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 lotos-blossoms Had marked their thief to kr. w again!

That dumb they look. Your harp, be

lieve, With all the sensitive tight strings, Which dare not speak, now to itself 170 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 Aow, 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 SerAs 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.








Stay longer yet, for others' sake Than mine! What should your chamber do?

160 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 165 These objects, and, while day lasts, weave Around them such a magic tether

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and two,



THE BISHOP ORDERS HIS TOMB With those nine columns round me, two AT SAINT PRAXED'S CHURCH

The odd one at my feet where Anselm ROME, 15–

stands: (1845) Peach-blossom marble all, the rare,


ripe Vanity, saith the preacher, vanity!

As fresh poured red wine of a mighty Draw round my bed: is Anselm keeping pulse

30 back?

Old Gandolf with his paltry onion-stone, Nephews — sons

mine .. ah God, I Put me where I may look at him! True know not! Well,

peach, She, men would have to be your mother Rosy and flawless: how I earned the prize! once,

Draw close: that conflagration of my Old Gandolf envied me, so fair she was! 5 church What's done is done, and she is dead What then? So much was saved if aught beside,

were missed! Dead long ago, and I am Bishop since, My sons, ye would not be my death? Go And as she died so must we die ourselves, dig And thence ye may perceive the world's a The white-grape vineyard where the oildream.

press stood, Life, how and what is it? As here I Drop water gently till the surface sink, lie

And if ye find . . . Ah God, I know not, In this state-chamber, dying by degrees,

I!... Hours and long hours in the dead night, I Bedded in store of rotten fig-leaves soft, 40 ask

And corded up in a tight olive-frail, "Do I live, am I dead?” Peace, peace Some lump, ah God, of lapis lazuli, seems all.

Big as a Jew's head cut off at the

nape, Blue

vein o'er the Madonna's

breast .. Saint Praxed's ever was the church for Sons, all have I bequeathed you, villas, peace :

all, And so, about this tomb of mine. I That brave Frascati villa with its bath, fought

So, let the blue lump poise between my With tooth and nail to save my niche, ye knees, know:

Like God the Father's globe on both his Old Gandolf cozened me, despite my care;

hands Shrewd was that snatch from out the Ye worship in the Jesu Church so gay: corner South

For Gandolf shall not choose but see and He graced his carrion with, God curse the burst!

same! Yet still my niche is not so cramped but

Swift as

a weaver's shuttle fleet our thence

years: One sees the pulpit o' the epistle-side, Man goeth to the grave, and where is he? And somewhat of the choir, those silent Did I say basalt for my slab, sons? seats,

Black And up into the aery dome where live

'Twas ever antique-black I meant ! How The angels, and a sunbeam's sure to lurk. else And I shall fill my slab of basalt there, 25 Shall ye contrast my frieze to come beAnd 'neath my tabernacle take my rest,









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