If she a little turn her head
I know that I am wholly dead:
nor ever did on such a throat
the lips of Tristram slowly dote,
La beale Isoud whose leman was.
And if my lady look at me
(with her eyes which like two elves
incredibly amuse themselves)
with a look of faerie,
perhaps a little suddenly
(as sometimes the improbable
beauty of my lady will)
— at her glance my spirit shies
rearing (as in the miracle
of a lady who had eyes
which the king’s horses might not kill.)
But should my lady smile, it were
a flower of so pure surprise
(it were so very new a flower,
a flower so frail, a flower so glad)
as trembling used to yield with dew
when the world was young and new
(a flower such as the world had
in springtime when the world was mad
and Launcelot spoke to Guenever,
a flower which most heavy hung
with silence when the world was young
and Diarmid looked in Grania’s eyes.)
But should my lady’s beauty play
at not speaking (sometimes as
it will) the silence of her face
doth immediately make
in my heart so great a noise,
as in the sharp and thirsty blood
of Paris would not all the Troys
of Helen’s beauty: never did
Lord Jason (in impossible things
victorious impossibly)
so wholly burn, to undertake


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