Menella Bute Smedley

A Plea For Beauty

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I heard there was no place among the powers
For Beauty; that she stands not in the plan;
That even the tints which glorify the flowers
Came but for use, and not for joy to man.
Ah, sophist, tracing through gradations fine
A wondrous story hid from eyes more dull,
You know how beauty comes to tint and line,—
Tell us, what makes the beauty beautiful?
We will be glad because the crocus takes
Such tender curves before her buds are riven,—
Because at morn the wave of colour breaks
Like a great burst of music over heaven,—
Because each accident of light or shade,
The copse, the cliff, the field, the shore, endears,—
Because no living thing can grow or fade
Without a charm that touches us to tears,—
Because the Voice proclaiming all things good,
Even to the least a twofold work imparts,
And colours, tempting insects to their food,
Are banquets for our grateful eyes and hearts.

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Menella Bute Smedley