Anaktoria on the Stoop

by G. Wesley Purdy

Soft as palely loitering spring she lingers,
sitting knock-kneed, mild; as the florid season,
so she too, unmindful, accepts caresses,
   bending as slightly.

Lips unguarded, full, as if seeking, sought for,
brush expectant day, its small breathing quickened;
she is somewhere distanter: there a strangely
   crystalline rapture.

Hair goes wisps as boldly as love is taken,
falls there all about her a chestnut laughter;
rayon gardens bloom there, surprise among them,
   startled eyes question.

Who can know the mastery seizes her? What
sight, what strophe, may quicken the hand to wisdom
such as Anaktoria's knows: half-lifted,
   suddenly foreign?