Dante Gabriel Rossetti

(12 May 1828 – 9 April 1882 / London / England)

Sonnet XVII: Beauty's Pageant


What dawn-pulse at the heart of heaven, or last
Incarnate flower of culminating day,—
What marshalled marvels on the skirts of May,
Or song full-quired, sweet June's encomiast;
What glory of change by Nature's hand amass'd
Can vie with all those moods of varying grace
Which o'er one loveliest woman's form and face
Within this hour, within this room, have pass'd?
Love's very vesture and elect disguise
Was each fine movement,—wonder new-begot
Of lily or swan or swan-stemmed galiot;
Joy to his sight who now the sadlier sighs,
Parted again; and sorrow yet for eyes
Unborn, that read these words and saw her not.

Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010

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