Paolo and Francesca

paolo%20&%20francesca

On a day for dalliance we read the rhyme of Lancelot,
how love had mastered him.
We were alone with innocence and dim time.
Pause after pause that high old story drew
our eyes together while we blushed
and paled;
but it was one soft passage overthrew our caution
and our hearts.
For when we read how her fond smile was kissed
by such a lover, he who is
one with me alive and
dead
breathed on my lips the tremor of his kiss.
That book, and he who wrote it, was a pander.

That day we read no further.

-from Paolo and Francesca

Painting: Paolo and Francesca by Amos Casioli

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