Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LEONARDO'S 'MONNA LISA', by EDWARD DOWDEN



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LEONARDO'S 'MONNA LISA', by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Make thyself known, sibyl, or let despair
Last Line: Allure us and reject us at thy will!
Variant Title(s): Mona Lisa
Subject(s): Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519); Mona Lisa; Paintings & Painters


MAKE thyself known, Sibyl, or let despair
Of knowing thee be absolute: I wait
Hour-long and waste a soul. What word of fate
Hides 'twixt the lips which smile and still for-
bear?
Secret perfection! Mystery too fair!
Tangle the sense no more, lest I should hate
The delicate tyranny, the inviolate
Poise of thy folded hands, the fallen hair.
Nay, nay, -- I wrong thee with rough words; still
be
Serene, victorious, inaccessible;
Still smile but speak not; lightest irony
Lurk ever 'neath thy eyelids' shadow; still
O'ertop our knowledge; Sphinx of Italy,
Allure us and reject us at thy will!




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