In wrecked Termonde, that 'mid the tramp and bellow
Of War's mad herd saw ruin on ruin piled,
The enemy had deflowered with havoc wild
A fair abode of Sculpture without fellow;
And while the autumn sunlight rich and mellow
On Art's poor shattered glories sadly smiled,
There, still unmaimed, with her unwounded child,
Leaned a serene Madonna of Donatello.
O'er a fledged Hermes, lord of speed and spoil —
O'er a bemired and fall'n Laocoon —
Near a prone Venus of the dust, she shone.
O'er winged Deceit, and Agony's serpent coil,
And Beauty born to inflame and to entoil,
Motherhood, scatheless, lived divinely on.
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