Edward Dowden

Here you will find the Poem Leonardo's 'Monna Lisa' of poet Edward Dowden

Leonardo's 'Monna Lisa'

MAKE thyself known, Sibyl, or let despair 
Of knowing thee be absolute; I wait 
Hour-long and waste a soul. What word of fate 
Hides 'twixt the lips which smile and still forbear? 
Secret perfection! Mystery too fair! 
Tangle the sense no more lest I should hate 
Thy delicate tyranny, the inviolate 
Poise of thy folded hands, thy fallen hair. 
Nay, nay,--I wrong thee with rough words; still be 
Serene, victorious, inaccessible; 
Still smile but speak not; lightest irony 
Lurk ever 'neath thine eyelids' shadow; still 
O'ertop our knowledge; Sphinx of Italy 
Allure us and reject us at thy will!