Littell's Living Age/Volume 125/Issue 1611/The Classical Ideal


Must then thy beauty be so soon outworn —
A canker'd bud doom'd to untimely death;
A hoar-frost landscape, melting at a breath
Into unsightly drops; a pearl-rose morn
Heralding sleet and dank grey mists forlorn;
A goodly garment, as the Psalmist saith,
The moth shall fret until it perisheth?
For so some hold, deeming all beauty born
Of youth's fresh tinting and untroubled lines.
Of colour only and of form — aye, hold
That it must fade as each full feature pines
With age, and the flush cheek grows wan and cold,
The eye less bright, and chill with silver shines
The hair of bronze that had the sheen of gold.