O fair as those I love, and sweet and fair
As those whose sweetness is so fair to me,
O dearer than the love my love does dare
Hardly to greet when sight grows ecstasy,
As strange as any idol of the past
Whose youth mine worshipped in a youthful trance,
Are not thine tenderness and strength? And hast
Thou not a mouth controlling all romance?
Is love more meaningful than are thy frowns?
Hast not thou shyness for a rosy shroud,
And curls of misty gold that clings and crowns
A breathing fairness and a marble cloud?
O mayest thou take this volume in thy hand,
And turn the leaves, and read, and understand!