Poetry

‘Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white’

Arthur Hughes  La Belle Dame sans merci 1863  oil on canvas  152.5 x 122.0 cm  collection of National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Arthur Hughes, La Belle Dame sans merci, 1863, oil on canvas, 152.5 x 122.0 cm, Collection of National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

by ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON

Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;

Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;

Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font:

The firefly wakens: waken thou with me.

Now droops the milk-white peacock like a ghost,

And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.

Now lies the Earth all Danae to the stars,

And all thy heart lies open unto me.

Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves

A shining furrow, as thoughts in me.

Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,

And slips into the bosom of the lake:

So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip

Into my bosom and be lost in me.

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