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La Bella Donna della mia Mente

by Oscar Wilde, 1881

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
   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,
 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
   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.

 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,
   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!
 O House of love! O desolate
   Pale flower beaten by the rain!

Published in Poems

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