Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO A BEAUTIFUL OLD LADY (TO THE SWEET MEMORY OF LUCY HINTON), by RICHARD THOMAS LE GALLIENNE



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TO A BEAUTIFUL OLD LADY (TO THE SWEET MEMORY OF LUCY HINTON), by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Say not - 'she once was fair;' because the
Last Line: Sweeping each splendour with her queenly eye!
Subject(s): Beauty


SAY not -- "She once was fair;" because the years
Have changed her beauty to a holier thing,
No girl hath such a lovely face as hers,
That hoards the sweets of many a vanished spring,
Stealing from Time what Time in vain would steal,
Culling perfections as each came to flower,
Bearing on each rare lineament the seal
Of being exquisite from hour to hour.

These eyes have dwelt with beauty night and morn,
Guarding the soul within from every stain,
No baseness since the first day she was born
Behind those star-lit brows could access again,
Bathed in the light that streamed from all things fair,
Turning to spirit each delicate door of sense,
And with all lovely shapes of earth and air
Feeding her wisdom and her innocence.

Life that, whate'er it gives, takes more away
From those that all would take and little give,
Enriched her treasury from day to day,
Making each hour more wonderful to live;
And touch by touch, with hands of unseen skill,
Transformed the simple beauty of a girl,
Finding it lovely, left it lovelier still,
A mystic masterpiece of rose and pearl.

Her grief and joy alike have turned to gold,
And tears and laughter mingled to one end,
With alchemy of living manifold:
If Life so wrought, shall Death be less a friend?
Nay, earth to heaven shall give the fairest face,
Dimming the haughty beauties of the sky;
Would I could see her softly take her place,
Sweeping each splendour with her queenly eye!





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