Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MONA LISA, by ROBERT MOSES

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

MONA LISA, by                    
First Line: Thy face is the question of ages
Last Line: Our lady divine?
Subject(s): Mona Lisa; Yale University

THY face is the question of ages;
Thy form is the mirror of time;
Round thy temples the wisdom of sages;
In thy smile the foreknowledge of crime:
'Tis a smile half sneer and half sadness,
The lips now curl, now repine --
Ah, gentle precursor of madness,
Our Lady Divine.

Thou knowest the past and the morrow,
And yet in thy far-gazing eyes
I see not a hint of man's sorrow,
But the world-old contempt of the wise.
Time's symbol unchanging thou seemest;
Yet the sin-ridden past is thine,
Which moulds thy form as thou dreamest,
Our Lady Divine.

Age has etched out thine eyelids aweary
And thy fleeting intangible smile;
The eyes that are somber and dreary,
Thou Artemis, Circe of guile.
Are we ever constrained to surrender,
Forever to bow at thy shrine,
Most subtle, most cruel, most tender,
Our Lady Divine?

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