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86 French Leconte de Lisle (1818–94) Leilah Asleep No wing-stir, no murmur of springs: all sounds are stayed. Dust of the sun floats above the blossoming grass, and the bengalee wren, with furtive beak, taps the rich juice of mangoes in full bloom and ripe with golden blood. In the king’s orchard, where the mulberries blush red, beneath a sky that burns limpid and colorless, Leilah, all rosy in the heat and languorous, closes her deep-lashed eyes in the dark-branching shade. Her forehead, circleted in rubies, rests upon one lovely arm. Her naked foot, with amber tone, tints the pearled lattice of her slim babouche. Apart she sleeps; and smiles in dream upon her lover’s presence, like an empurpled fruit, perfumèd and intense, that makes the mouth’s deep thirst a freshness in the heart. Frederick Morgan, 1953 ...


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