Classic Poetry Aloud gives voice to poetry through podcast recordings of the great poems of the past. Our library of poems is intended as a resource for anyone interested in reading and listening to poetry. For us, it's all about the listening, and how hearing a poem can make it more accessible, as well as heightening its emotional impact. See more at: www.classicpoetryaloud.com
February 5th, 2008
Episode 133 of 608 episodes
Darley read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/ Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------- The Loveliness of Love by George Darley (1795–1846) It is not Beauty I demand, A crystal brow, the moon’s despair, Nor the snow’s daughter, a white hand, Nor mermaid’s yellow pride of hair: Tell me not of your starry eyes, Your lips that seem on roses fed, Your breasts, where Cupid tumbling lies Nor sleeps for kissing of his bed:— A bloomy pair of vermeil cheeks Like Hebe’s in her ruddiest hours, A breath that softer music speaks Than summer winds a-wooing flowers, These are but gauds; nay, what are lips: Coral beneath the ocean-stream, Whose brink when your adventurer slips Full oft he perisheth on them. And what are cheeks but ensigns oft That wave hot youth to fields of blood? Did Helen’s breast, though ne’er so soft, Do Greece or Ilium any good? Eyes can with baleful ardour burn; Poison can breathe, than erst perfumed; There’s many a white hand holds an urn With lovers’ hearts to dust consumed. For crystal brows there’s nought within; They are but empty cells for pride; He who the Syren’s hair would win Is mostly strangled in the tide. Give me, instead of Beauty’s bust, A tender heart, a loyal mind Which with temptation I would trust, Yet never link’d with error find,— One in whose gentle bosom I Could pour my secret heart of woes, Like the case-burthen’d honey-fly That hides his murmurs in the rose— My earthly Comforter! whose love So indefeasible might be That, when my spirit wonn’d above Hers could not stay, for sympathy.