Sonnets From the Portuguese - XIX
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
   The soul's Rialto hath its merchandize;
   I barter curl for curl upon that mart,
   And from my poet's forehead to my heart
   Receive this lock which outweighs argosies, -
5   As purply black, as erst to Pindar's eyes
   The dim purpureal tresses gloomed athwart
   The nine white Muse-brows. For this counters part, . . .
   The bay crown's shade, Beloved, I surmise,
   Still lingers on thy curl, it is so black!
10   Thus, with a fillet of smooth-kissing breath,
   I tie the shadows safe from gliding back,
   And lay the gift where nothing hindereth;
   Here on my heart, as on thy brow, to lack
   No natural heat till mine grows cold in death.
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Pindar was the most famous lyric poet of ancient Greece.