Song

Who has robbed the ocean cave
To tinge thy lips with coral hue?
Who from India’s distant wave
For thee those pearly treasures drew?
Who from yonder orient sky
Stole the morning of thine eye?

Thousand charms, they form to deck,
From sea, and earth, and air are torn;
Roses bloom upon thy cheek,
On thy breath their fragrance borne.
Guard thy bosom from the day,
Lest those snows should melt away!

But one charm remains behind,
Which mute earth can ne’er impart;
Nor in ocean wilt thou find,
Nor in the circling air, a heart.
Fairest, wouldst thou perfect be,
Take, oh, take that heart from me!

John Shaw, ‘Song’ (1805)

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