715. Song from 'Paracelsus'

Robert Browning. 1812-1889

HEAP cassia, sandal-buds and stripes
  Of labdanum, and aloe-balls,
Smear'd with dull nard an Indian wipes
  From out her hair: such balsam falls
  Down sea-side mountain pedestals,
From tree-tops where tired winds are fain,
Spent with the vast and howling main,
To treasure half their island-gain.

And strew faint sweetness from some old
  Egyptian's fine worm-eaten shroud
Which breaks to dust when once unroll'd;
  Or shredded perfume, like a cloud
  From closet long to quiet vow'd,
With moth'd and dropping arras hung,
Mouldering her lute and books among,
As when a queen, long dead, was young.

The Oxford Book of English Verse, HTML edition