Genius in Beauty by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
(Painting shown is Regina Cordium, painted by Rossetti in 1866 using Alexa Wilding as a model.)
Beauty like hers is genius. Not the call
Of Homer’s or of Dante’s heart sublime, —
Not Michael’s hand furrowing the zones of time, —
Is more with compassed mysteries musical;
Nay, not in Spring’s Summer’s sweet footfall
More gathered gifts exuberant Life bequeaths
Than doth this sovereign face, whose love-spell breathes
Even from its shadowed contour on the wall.
As many men are poets in their youth,
But for one sweet-strung soul the wires prolong
Even through all change the indomitable song;
So in likewise the envenomed years, whose tooth
Rends shallower grace with ruin void of truth,
Upon this beauty’s power shall wreak no wrong.