How I love you in the robes

that disrobe so well your charms!

Your dear breasts, twin ivory globes,

and your bare, sweet pagan arms.

Frail as frailest wing of bee,

fresher than the heart of rose,

all the fabric delicate, free

round your body gleams and glows,

till from skin to silken thread,

silver shivers lightly win

and the rosy gown have shed

roses on the creamy skin.

Whence have you the mystic thing,

made of very flesh of you,

living mesh to mix and cling

with your glorious body's hue?

Did you take it from the rud

of the dawn? From Venus' shell?

From a breast-flower night to bud?

From a rose about to swell?

Doth the texture have its dye

from some blushing bashfulness?

No--your portraits do not lie--

Beauty beauty's form shall guess!

Down you cast your garment fair

art-dreamed, sweet Reality

like Borghese's princess, rare

for Canova's mastery!

Ah, the folds are lips of fire

sweeping round your lovely form

in a folly of desire,

with a weft of kisses warm!

--Translated by Agnes Lee, from Enamels and Cameos and Other Poems