Archive for July 23rd, 2014

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Beauty by Bryan Waller Procter (Barry Cornwall)

Painters—Poets—who can tell
What Beauty is—bright miracle?
Sometimes brown and sometimes white,
She shifts from darkness into light,
Swimming on with such fine ease,
That we miss her small degrees,
Knowing not that she hath ranged,
Till we find her sweetly changed.

They are poets false who say
That Beauty must be fair as day,
And that the rich red rose,
On her cheek for ever glows,
Or that the cold white lily lieth
On her breast, and never flieth.
Beauty is not so unkind,
Not so niggard, not so blind,
As yield her favour but to one,
When she may walk unconfined,
Associate with the unfettered Wind,
And wander with the Sun.
No; she spreads her gifts, her grace,
O’er every colour, every face.
She can laugh, and she can breathe
Freely where she will,—beneath
Polar darkness, tropic star,
Impoverish’d Delhi, dark Bahar,
And all the regions bright and far,
Where India’s sweet-voiced women are!

From: Cornwall, Barry, English Songs and Other Small Poems, 1832, Edward Moxon: London, p. 154.

(http://books.google.com.au/books?id=JDSMznlUq0AC)

Date: 1832

By: Bryan Waller Procter (Barry Cornwall) (1787-1874)