She sat in beauty, like some form of nymph
Or naïad, on the mossy, purpled bank
Of her wild woodland stream, that at her feet
Linger'd, and play'd, and dimpled, as in love.
Or like those shapes that on the western clouds
Spread gold-dropp'd plumes, and sing to harps of pearl,
And teach the evening winds their melody:
How shall I tell her beauty?--for the eye,
Fix'd on the sun, is blinded by its beam.
One glance, and then no more, upon that brow
Brighter than marble shining through those curls,
Richer than hyacinths when they wave their bells
In the low breathing of the twilight wind.--
One glance upon that lip, beside whose hue
The morning rose would sicken and grow pale,
'Till it was waked again by the soft breath
That steals in music from those lips of love.
Wert thou a statue I could pine for thee,
But in thy living beauty there is awe;
The sacredness of modesty enshrines
The ruby lip, bright brow, and beaming eye;--
I dare but worship what I must not love.