On a Leander Gem Which a Young Lady Gave the Author
Come hither all sweet maidens soberly,
Down-looking, aye, and with a chasten’d light
Hid in the fringes of your eyelids white,
And meekly let your fair hands joined be,
As if so gentle that ye could not see,
Untouch’d, a victim of your beauty bright
Sinking away to his young spirit’s night,
Sinking bewilder’d ’mid the dreary sea:
’Tis young Leander toiling to his death;
Nigh swooning, he doth purse his weary lips
For Hero’s cheek, and smiles against her smile.
O horrid dream! see how his body dips
Dead-heavy; arms and shoulders gleam awhile:
He’s gone: up bubbles all his amorous breath!