WHEN I hear men discoursing idle things,
Who "beauty and corruption" would unite—
As who should say: "Now call we darkness bright!"
My wondering soul more passionately clings
To every image, every strain that sings
Of beauty—still, ah, still the world's delight!—
More valuing that bloom which knows not blight,
To which no touch of Time defacement brings.
From rocky Chios, from sweet Avon's side,
From Athens, Sicily—our earth to bless—
From each dear Land where Joy hath dwelt with Truth,
It comes adown Time's inexhausted tide
In myriad form, the ancient Loveliness,
Wearing its glory of immortal youth!