Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MIRRORS, by HERBERT H. LONGFELLOW

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

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MIRRORS, by            
First Line: I am told that beauty is a reflection
Last Line: I am looking at a mirror and a reflection.
Subject(s): Beauty; Mirrors; Old Age; Women; Youth

I am told that beauty is a reflection.
I am wondering if it is true that beauty does not exist,
That it is a reflection.
If beauty is a reflection there must somewhere be a mirror.
The mirror itself may be beauty.
It is very puzzling.
I am in an elevated train.
An old woman and a young woman are sitting together.
It is by chance that they are sitting together.
They are strangers.

I can see that the young woman is modish.
High heels and pumps are part of her beauty.
A purple hat, the folds of her veil, suggestions of color are parts of her
Slimness, contour, languor of manner
Industriously support and reassure her beauty.
I can see her beauty.
It is not a reflection.

I can see the slimness of the old woman.
It is lean.
I am aware of her contour.
It is hungry.
The old woman does not have a purple hat
But there is a veil over her face.
The pattern of the veil is fine and very soft
It was woven by pain.
The eyes of the old woman have been set in light
It is not a common light.
It was kindled by joy.
I am not looking at the old woman.
I am looking at a mirror and a reflection.

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