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 Her hair was, oh, so dense a blur
Of darkness, midnight envied her;
And stars grew dimmer in the skies
To see the glory of her eyes;
And all the summer rain of light
That showered from the moon at night
Fell o'er her features as the gloom
Of twilight o'er a lily-bloom.
The crimson fruitage of her lips Was ripe and lush with sweeter wine Than burgundy or muscadine Or vintage that the burgher sips In some old garden on the Rhine: And I to taste of it could well Believe my heart a crucible Of molten love--and I could feel The drunken soul within me reel And rock and stagger till it fell.
And do you wonder that I bowed Before her splendor as a cloud Of storm the golden-sandaled sun Had set his conquering foot upon? And did she will it, I could lie In writhing rapture down and die A death so full of precious pain I'd waken up to die again.

Poem by James Whitcomb Riley
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