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She walks in beauty like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to the tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One ray the more, one shade the less
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress
Or softly lightens o'er her face,
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling place.
And on that cheek and o'er that brow
So soft, so calm yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow
But tell of days in goodness spent
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent.
Source: She Walks in Beauty: Literary Touchstone Classic, ©2005 Prestwick House. All Rights Reserved. Full copyright.
Notice the lack of end punctuation here; the lines read, “She walks in beauty like the night / of cloudless climes …” not simply as the phrase is usually quoted, “beauty like the night.”
bearing, composure, demeanor
“Would have ruined”
a lock of black hair