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A Character

         
      With a half-glance upon the sky
      At night he said, ‘The wanderings
      Of this most intricate Universe
      Teach me the nothingness of things.’
      Yet could not all creation pierce
      Beyond the bottom of his eye.

      He spake of beauty: that the dull
      Saw no divinity in grass,
      Life in dead stones, or spirit in air;
      Then looking as ’twere in a glass,
      He smooth’d his chin and sleek’d his hair,
      And said the earth was beautiful.

      He spake of virtue: not the gods
      More purely, when they wish to charm
      Pallas and Juno sitting by:
      And with a sweeping of the arm,
      And a lack-lustre dead-blue eye,
      Devolved his rounded periods.

      Most delicately hour by hour
      He canvass’d human mysteries,
      And trod on silk, as if the winds
      Blew his own praises in his eyes,
      And stood aloof from other minds
      In impotence of fancied power.

      With lips depress’d as he were meek,
      Himself unto himself he sold:
      Upon himself himself did feed:
      Quiet, dispassionate, and cold,
      And other than his form of creed,
      With chisell'd features clear and sleek.
       


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