HER mouth a rosebud of delight,
Low-laughing 'mid the languid curls,
Whose kissing cadence seems to cite
The rhythmic melody of Night.
Her hair a saraband where whirls
A wanton witch, whose perfumes smite
The shuddering air; a summer night
Where summer lightning darts and curls.
Her soul a Parian marble shrine,
Centred in lily-cups that fold
Their carven petals, smooth and cold,
Far o'er a lake of frozen wine ---
Yet deep within whose inmost fold
Sleepeth a snake: the crystal brine
Of endless sorrow seals his shrine;
Wiser than Sin is he, so old!