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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

"Heap cassia, sandal-buds and stripes" by Robert Browning

Heap cassia, sandal-buds and stripes 
Of labdanum, and aloe-balls, 
Smeared with dull nard an Indian wipes 
From out her hair: such balsam falls 
Down sea-side mountain pedestals, 
From tree-tops where tired winds are fain, 
Spent with the vast and howling main, 
To treasure half their island-gain. 

And strew faint sweetness from some old 
Egyptian's fine worm-eaten shroud 
Which breaks to dust when once unrolled; 
Or shredded perfume, like a cloud 
From closet long to quiet vowed, 
With mothed and dropping arras hung, 
Mouldering her lute and books among, 
As when a queen, long dead, was young.

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