Summer Hill Glen

 

Why gild the lily ?

Is it not fair enough

Without the artifice that man, in pride of his

Intelligence and acquired lore,

Thinks will improve the artless loveliness

Conceived in the Creator’s mind?

Here what is beautiful

Lived first in God’s deep dreaming,

The thought that grew into a perfect form,

Needing but care and nurture

In accordance with eternal law.

A gem in truth will flash

Revealing hidden lights by skilful cut,

But set in meretricious fashioning

Is by man’s littleness reduced.

And every flower

Brought to perfection by the light of day,

With bush and tree,

Is by the glorious sun with radiance endowed,

Holy and chaste and somehow virginal.

But in the crude glare of a lurid lamp

That paints the night with an unwonted sheen

Those blooms have an appearance sinister,

And spectral boughs clothed with a ghastly dew

Raise frantic arms to where the very stars

Hide all their diamonds in dismayed retreat.

 

Mona’s Herald     21.8.62