"In a Gondola" by Robert Browning (excerpts)
I send my heart up to thee, all my heart
In this my singing.
For the stars help me, and the sea bears
The very night is clinging
Closer to Venice streets to leave one space
Above me, whence thy face
light my joyous heart to thee its dwelling-place
Say after me, and try to say
My very words, as if each word
Came from you of your own accord
own voice, in your own way:
"This woman's heart and soul and brain
Are mine as much as this gold chain
bids me wear; which" (say again)
"I choose to make by cherishing
A precious thing, or choose to fling
the boat-side, ring by ring."
And yet once more say... no word more!
Since words are only words. Give
The moth's kiss, first!
Kiss me as if you made believe
You were not sure, this eve,
How my face, your flower,
Its petals up; so, here and there
You brush it, till I grow aware
Who wants me, and wide ope I
The bee's kiss, now!
Kiss me as if you entered gay
My heart at some noonday,
A bud that dares not disallow
claim, so all is rendered up,
And passively its shattered cup
Over your head to sleep I bow.
Lie back; could thought of mine improve you?
From this shoulder let there spring
A wing; from this, another
Wings, not legs and feet, shall move you!
Snow-white must they spring, to blend
With your flesh, but
They shall deepen to the end,
Broader, into burning gold,
Till both wings crescent-wise enfold
perfect self, from 'neath your feet
To o'er your head, where, lo, they meet
As if a million sword-blades
Defiance from you to the world!
Rescue me thou, the only real!
Read more Robert Browning on Bibliomania
And scare away this mad ideal
That came, nor motions to depart!
Now, stay as thou art!