Étude Réaliste (Excerpts)

A baby's hands, like rosebuds furled
Whence yet no leaf expands,
Ope if you touch, though close upcurled,
A baby's hands.
Then, fast as warriors grip their brands
When battle's bolt is hurled,
They close, clenched hard like tightening bands.
No rosebuds yet by dawn impearled
Match, even in loveliest lands,
The sweetest flowers in all the world--
A baby's hands.


III

A baby's eyes, ere speech begin,
Ere lips learn words or sighs,
Bless all things bright enough to win
A baby's eyes.
Love, while the sweet thing laughs and lies,
And sleep flows out and in,
Sees perfect in them Paradise.
Their glance might cast out pain and sin,
Their speech make dumb the wise,
By mute glad godhead felt within
A baby's eyes.

by Algernon Charles Swinburne

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