Poems of Sentiment and Imagination/Beauty

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For works with similar titles, see Beauty.


I have seen a gay, young, volatile creature,
With a form graceful as Hebe's, and a smile
Full of all winning witcheries; and features
Blended to such pure symmetry, that while
You strove to tell where most of beauty laid,
The delicate whole mingled in one soft shade,
With violet eyes, and drooping lids that looked
Like a soft pearl-cloud on the summer sky,
And fair, smooth brow where purity seemed booked
Never to be erased; and lips that vie
With the young rosebud, that ever and anon
Parted with smiles and snatches of sweet song;
And hair bright as a gold-edged cloud, that hung
In rippled ringlets round the soft, white neck,
And o'er the carmine of the young cheek flung
A richer glow, such as tints from shadows take.
A form all symmetry, with delicate feet,
And pretty dimpled hands and rounded arms,
And motions full of graces, such as meet
To make perfection in one lovely form;
And I did love her that she was to me
The witching embodiment of poetry.

And I knew one of a less lovely face,
With form less fairy-like and beautiful,
With motions not so full of perfect grace,
But whose chief charm was loveliness of soul!
Yet she was beautiful; you should have seen
The soft eye lighten, and the restless lip,
Tremulous with lofty sentiment, and been
A listener to the glowing thoughts that leap
From the deep-welling fountains of her heart,
And watched the play of feelings as they'd start,
Bringing the eloquent blood to her fair brow,
Deep'ning the color in her tell-tale eye,
And blending her whole being in the glow
That wraps her spirit in such ecstasy.
Then had you known what 'tis to feel the charm
Of all that's beautiful in our fair earth;
For her mind fed on loveliness, nor form,
Real nor spiritual, that has its birth,
But was familiar to her delicate eye,
Until her spirit became poetry!
And her I loved for beauty that is given
To make us less of earth and more of heaven.