Treasure Island

Robert Browning

(1812-1889 / London / England)

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A Face


If one could have that little head of hers
Painted upon a background of pure gold,
Such as the Tuscan's early art prefers!
No shade encroaching on the matchless mould
Of those two lips, which should be opening soft
In the pure profile; not as when she laughs,
For that spoils all: but rather as if aloft
Yon hyacinth, she loves so, leaned its staff's
Burden of honey-colored buds to kiss
And capture 'twixt the lips apart for this.
Then her little neck, three fingers might surround,
How it should waver on the pale gold ground
Up to the fruit-shaped, perfect chin it lifts!
I know, Correggio loves to mass, in rifts
Of heaven, his angel faces, orb on orb
Breaking its outline, burning shades absorb:
But these are only massed there, I should think,
Waiting to see some wonder momently
Grow out, stand full, fade slow against the sky
(That's the pale ground you'd see this sweet face by),
All heaven, meanwhile, condensed into one eye
Which fears to lose the wonder, should it wink.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010

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Comments about this poem (A Face by Robert Browning )

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  • Michelle Claus (4/22/2014 2:36:00 PM)

    I admire the imagery of hyacinth leaning to kiss her parted lips. This image is very specific and memorable. (Report) Reply

  • Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (4/9/2014 9:29:00 AM)

    A very good poem with perfection of imagination of asthetic face of angel like beauty with so much words to say about the complexion.Minute points on the creative side is also praiseworthy and it is very good to read aloud and also understand with once own understanding. I respect the poet very much. (Report) Reply

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