Eros

By Robert Bridges 1844–1930 Robert Bridges
Why hast thou nothing in thy face?
Thou idol of the human race,
Thou tyrant of the human heart,
The flower of lovely youth that art;
Yea, and that standest in thy youth
An image of eternal Truth,
With thy exuberant flesh so fair,
That only Pheidias might compare,
Ere from his chaste marmoreal form
Time had decayed the colours warm;
Like to his gods in thy proud dress,
Thy starry sheen of nakedness.

Surely thy body is thy mind,
For in thy face is nought to find,
Only thy soft unchristen’d smile,
That shadows neither love nor guile,
But shameless will and power immense,
In secret sensuous innocence.

O king of joy, what is thy thought?
I dream thou knowest it is nought,
And wouldst in darkness come, but thou
Makest the light where’er thou go.
Ah yet no victim of thy grace,
None who e’er long’d for thy embrace,
Hath cared to look upon thy face.

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Poet Robert Bridges 1844–1930

POET’S REGION England

Subjects Love, Relationships, Nature, The Body, Heroes & Patriotism, Mythology & Folklore, Desire, The Mind, Greek & Roman Mythology

Holidays Valentine's Day

Poetic Terms Ode, Rhymed Stanza

 Robert  Bridges

Biography

A Victorian who by choice remained apart from the aesthetic movements of his day, Robert Bridges was a classicist. His experimentation with eighteenth-century classical forms culminated in The Testament of Beauty, generally acknowledged as his masterpiece. He succeeded Alfred Austin as Poet Laureate in 1913 and was active in the Society for Pure English, which was founded largely through his efforts. He had an important . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Relationships, Nature, The Body, Heroes & Patriotism, Mythology & Folklore, Desire, The Mind, Greek & Roman Mythology

POET’S REGION England

Poetic Terms Ode, Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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