She Walks in Beauty
She walks in beauty like the night
of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
meets in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow’d to that tender light
which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
had half impair’d the nameless grace
which waves in every raven tress,
or softly lightens o’er her face –
where thoughts serenely sweet express
how pure, how dear their dwelling – place.
And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
so soft so calm, yet eloquent,
the smiles that win, the tints that glow,
but tells in days of goodness spent,
a mind at peace with all below,
a heart whose love is innocent.
George Gordon Byron, 22 January 1788 – 19 April 1824 (aged 36)
I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions. Whatever I see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful –
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is a part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.
Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.
Sylvia Plath – 23 October, 1961