Eros

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.

Robert Bridges

This poem might be obscure and controversial in its meaning, but it is precious in rhyme and melody.

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3 thoughts on “Eros

  1. I take from the poem that it is difficult (perhaps impossible) to analyse the essence of love which is, in any case intimately connected with lust/sexual desire. Perhaps not wishing to look upon the face of Eros stems from the fact that there is nothing there (perhaps no real love, only lust which is found in his nakedness). I may, however be barking completely up the wrong tree on this one. Kevin

    Liked by 1 person

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