Praise of my Lady


My Lady seems of Ivory
Forehead, straight nose, and cheeks that be
Hollowed a little mournfully
Beata mea Domina!

Her forehead, overshadowed much
By bows of hair, has a wave such
As god was good to make for me
Beata mea Domina!

Not greatly long my lady's hair,
Nor yet with yellow colour fair,
But thick and crisped wonderfully:
Beata mea Domina!

Heavy to make the pale face sad,
And dark, but dead as though it had
Been forged by God most wonderfully:
- Beata mea Domina!-

Of some strange metal, thread by thread,
to stand out from my lady's head,
Not moving much to tangle me.
Beata mea Domina!

Beneath her brows the lids fall slow,
the lashes a clear shadow throw
Where I would wish my lips to be.
Beata mea Domina!

William Morris

Detail from The Birth of Venus by Botticelli

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