All ugliness wears on its brow the brand
Of Time and Dissolution; from of old,
Its doubtful journey through a shifting sand,
The life in its ophidian breast is cold.
But beauty's path is one forever bright'ning
In glory to each far horizon's rim;
Warm in the rose and golden in the lightning,
Love's altar flame, the upward way to Him,—
Beauty, transcending all that bans and bars,
Moves as the light moves on, eternal as the stars!
Too well acquaint with passions that benumb,
Earth is with them no more in kind accord.
'T is only by ascending one may come
Where waits for her the new, the unexplored.
She longs—ah, how she longs!—to break asunder
Her ancient chains, to lave in morning dew,
To stand a little space 'mid realms of wonder,
To feel her nearness to the good and true.
She longs for beauty—vernal through the years—
To touch the dried-up spring and fount of happy tears!