"In a Gondola" was sparked when an intermediary for painter Daniel Maclise asked Browning to write a few lines on an oil-painting titled "The Serenade" (now in Baylor's Armstrong Browning Library; scroll to bottom of linked page for small image). Browning wrote the few lines, and then added over 200 more. These excerpted stanzas are intended to be "sung" by the woman, but for the podcast I asked a man to speak them (audio link below), just for fun.
(More fun with nature: the "bee" on the delphinium flower above is actually an illusion created by tiny fuzzy petals.)
In A Gondola (excerpt)
by Robert Browning
The moth's kiss, first!
Kiss me as if you made me believe
You were not sure, this eve,
How my face, your flower, had pursed
Its petals up; so, here and there
You brush it, till I grow aware
Who wants me, and wide ope I burst.
The bee's kiss, now!
Kiss me as if you entered gay
My heart at some noonday,
A bud that dares not disallow
The claim, so all is rendered up,
And passively its shattered cup
Over your head to sleep I bow.