Sonnet To Beauty

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The wonder of light is your familiar tale,
Pert wench, down to the nineteenth century:
Mr. Rimbaud the Frenchman's apostasy
Asserts the argument that you are stale,
Flat and unprofitable, importunate but paie,
Lithe Corpse! His defect of philosophy
Impugned, but could not strip your entity
Of light. Broken, our twilit visions fail.
Beauty, the doctrine of the incorporate Word
Conceives your fame; how else should you subsist?
The present age, beak southward, flies like a bird
For often at Church I've seen the stained high glass
Pour out the Virgin and Saints, twist and untwist
The mortal youth of Christ astride an ass.

© Allen Tate