Per grazia fa noi grazia che disvele
A lui la bocca tua, sì che discerna
La seconda bellezza che tu cele.1
Her lips are fixed with permanence
In a pensive non-expression,
Simply curved and pinkish plain.
She buries here her prized possession,
A secret smile that Horus keeps,
The hidden cove, a lover’s trove
Untouched by the searching, yearning glance
Of strangers who would a god profane.
If verses could but part the petals,
What winsome wealth of mirth would show;
How lily-white the sudden flash
That breaks beneath the opened rose!
Look here, my lady! I call to thee.
Oh, end thy silence! Laugh for me.
But I have not a Dante’s power
To peel away Harpocrates.
Unless the young god’s unseen finger
Be lifted by a flimsy rhyme,
Then her mouth shall stay a virgin flower,
And I before this moonlit balcony
Will pine lightheaded and wait her favor,
Writing odes to buy love time.