She Walks in Beauty, and Reply

She walks in beauty, like the night

     In distant dreams and truer type;

And all that’s best of dark and bright

     Is fused in flow’r, raised by stipe;

Thus mellowed to that tender light

     Where moon and star bring birth to life.

      One Spirit stilled, one word reserved,

Had half impaired the nameless grace,

     Chiara every chestnut curve

Which softly lightens o’er her face;

     And draws the dark into recurve—

How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

     The lips that smirk, the roots that know,
     The ripples sealed and heaven sent,
     A choice the rules of earth forgoes,

A heart whose love is innocent!