LA BELLA DONNA DELLA MIA MENTE

(Lovely Lady of My Memory)

by: Oscar Wilde

Y limbs are wasted with a flame,
My feet are sore with travelling,
For, calling on my Lady’s name,
My lips have now forgot to sing.

O Linnet in the wild-rose brake
Strain for my Love thy melody,
O Lark sing louder for love’s sake,
My gentle Lady passeth by.

She is too fair for any man
To see or hold his heart’s delight,
Fairer than Queen or courtesan
Or moonlit water in the night.

Her hair is bound with myrtle leaves,
(Green leaves upon her golden hair!)
Green grasses through the yellow sheaves
Of autumn corn are not more fair.

Her little lips, more made to kiss
Than to cry bitterly for pain,
Are tremulous as brook-water is,
Or roses after evening rain.

Her neck is like white melilote
Flushing for pleasure of the sun,
The throbbing of the linnet’s throat
Is not so sweet to look upon.

As a pomegranate, cut in twain,
White-seeded, is her crimson mouth,
Her cheeks are as the fading stain
Where the peach reddens to the south.

O twining hands! O delicate
White body made for love and pain!
O House of love! O desolate
Pale flower beaten by the rain!

‘La Bella Donna Della Mia Mente’ was originally published in Kottabos, 1876. It was revised for Poems, 1881.

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