Beauty is not a set and flawless rule;
She spells the mist, and with a silver wing
Hovers upon the shades of grey and brown
No less than on a rich embroidery.
She is a kind of rhythm, an accord
Of dreaming notes, so vague and mystical
That on a breath irrelevant, they fade.

She subtly whispers her imaginings,
And hath a tender breath more delicate
Than far-blown scent of gorse on distant hills.
If we but catch the glimmer of her wing,
Then witchery! We needs must follow her!...
If never on our path she comes along —
Then are we lost, for always we are blind.

The phantasy of yearning, and of hope,
She comes to naught in Comprehension's grasp;
No feather balanced on the Southern gale
Is more impalpable than Beauty's face.
We shall pursue her till our days are out;
If e'er she vanish, Life is spent — 'tis time
To draw the curtain for a last goodnight!
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