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Rose of the dawn as saffron wan, lighting a gaunt grey sea,

Or a red, red rose by the garden wall at the foot of a red rose tree,

But or ever I wake or sleep at last, the rose of her breasts for me.

Poppies that blaze in a blaze of gold, fair and more fair than fair,

Yellow as ever the dull brocade that the Lords and Ladies wear,

But never a gold shall time unfold like the gold of a woman’s hair.

Brown, wine-brown is the wall-flower’s plume that near to the fountain lies,

Brown as the sheen that jewels the wings of the hovering dragonflies,

But pale by the glow of autumn fire which lurks in a woman’s eyes.

Lilies? I see them white and still, caught fast in the ripple-strands,

Enmeshed in the web of a loitering stream a-dream by the river sands.

Beautiful! Yes! I grant you that, but the lilies of my Love’s hands!


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