Natural Magic by Robert Browning

All I can say is–I saw it!
The room was as bare as your hand.
I locked in the swarth little lady,–I swear,
From the head to the foot of her–well, quite as bare!
“No Nautch shall cheat me,” said I, “taking my stand [1]
At this bolt which I draw!” And this bolt–I withdraw it,
And there laughs the lady, not bare, but embowered
With–who knows what verdure, o’erfruited, o’erflowered?
Impossible! Only–I saw it!

All I can sing is–I feel it!
This life was as blank as that room;
I let you pass in here. Precaution, indeed?
Walls, ceiling, and floor,–not a chance for a weed!
Wide opens the entrance: where’s cold, now, where’s gloom?
No May to sow seed here, no June to reveal it,
Behold you enshrined in these blooms of your bringing,
These fruits of your bearing–nay, birds of your winging!
A fairy-tale! Only–I feel it!


1. =Nautch=. An Indian dancing-girl, to whom Browning ascribes the skill of a magician.

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