O beauty, passing beauty! Sweetest sweet!

How can thou let me waste my youth in sighs?

I only ask to sit beside thy feet.

Thou knowest I dare not look into thine eyes.

Might I but kiss thy hand! I dare not fold

My arms about thee–scarcely dare to speak.

And nothing seems to me so wild and bold,

As with one kiss to touch thy blessed cheek.

Methinks if I should kiss thee, no control

Within the thrilling brain could keep afloat

The subtle spirit. Even while I spoke,

The bare word “kiss” hath made my inner soul

To tremble like a lute string, ere the note

Hath melted in the silence that it broke.





Lord Alfred Tennyson

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