Under the arch of Life, where love and death,
Terror and mystery, guard her shrine I saw
Beauty enthroned; and though my gaze struck awe,
I drew it in as simply as my breath.
Hers are the eyes which, over and beneath,
The sky and sea bend on thee--which can draw,
By sea or sky or woman, to one law,
The allotted bondman of her palm and wreath.
This is that Lady Beauty, in whose praise
Thy voice and hand shake still--long known to thee
By flying hair and fluttering hem--the beat
Following her daily of thy heart and feet,
How passionately and irretrievably,
In what fond flight, how many days and ways!
The painting at the top of the page is Sibylla Palmifera, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who was a painter as well as a poet; this painting inspired him to write the poem above.