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Ideal Beauty

Paint me a picture where the golden hair,
Like sunlight, falls around the chiselled face
Of Grecian imaging;--limn me the grace
Of spiritual beauty, jewel rare,
In features human yet divinely fair.
Let, through the dark-blue splendour of the eye,
Ethereal Hope shine star-like with chaste Love,
And on the brow a wisdom from above,
And on the lip a happy secret lie,
Fraught with the spirit's sweetest sorcery;
Suffuse her face with Music, and the charm--
The animated glow of lofty Thought;
Let Cynthia's mien, with stately mildness fraught
And queenly grace, adorn th' ideal form;
And let her stand on some green isle of bliss,
Where seraphs stoop to woo her witching kiss.


"Words are the coin of fools," so spake the sage;
"But tables of the wise, whereon they count
The golden gems of thought, and keep the page
Of reckoning." So, brother, be the amount
Of all thou sayest or shalt say to men
The product of a pure, true-seeking mind,
And symbols of deep thought, tried and refined,
Won from the mine of rich experience; then
Shall all thy words be gold, and will outlast
The eating rust of Time, and men will say,
When thou art dead--looking upon thy past--
"This man hath earned him a fair name for aye!"
And in the inmost shrine of memory
They'll rear a precious monument for thee.