“Those girls” – Robert Browning. Sordello  

    I muse this on a ruined palace-step      
At Venice :  why should I break off, nor sit    
Longer upon my step, exhaust the fit 
England gave birth to ? Who's adorable         
Enough reclaim a --- no Sordello's Will                                               680        
Alack ! — be queen to me ? That Bassanese   
Busied among her smoking fruit-boats? These         
Perhaps from our delicious Asolo          
Who twinkle, pigeons o'er the portico 
Not prettier, bind late lilies into sheaves       
To deck the bridge-side chapel, dropping leaves      
Soiled by their own loose gold-meal? Ah, beneath 
The cool arch stoops she, brownest-cheek ! Her wreath     
Endures a month — a half month — if I make          
A queen of her, continue for her sake                                                   690
Sordello's story? Nay, that Paduan girl         
Splashes with barer legs where a live whirl             
In the dead black Giudecca proves sea-weed             
Drifting has sucked down three, four, all indeed     
Save one pale-red striped, pale-blue turbaned post            
For gondolas.           
                        You sad disheveled ghost             
That pluck at me and point, are you advised           
I breathe? Let stay those girls (e'en her disguised            
— Jewels in the locks that love no crownet like       



Browning, Robert. Sordello. Ed. Arthur J. Whyte. London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1913. Book III ll.676-699. The Cantos Project: General Sources. Web. 


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