Robert Browning

Song from 'Paracelsus'

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.