The Pain of Beauty

By George Sterling

Often I wish thou wert less subtly fair!
That somewise fleck or slightest flaw might hold
    Thy beauty less than perfect—that the mold
Which held the goddess held not too my air.
Not Sappho with the roses in her hair.
    Nor Lilith naked in the moonlight cold,
    Nor Circe folded in the sunset's gold,
Wrought with their beauty so extreme despair.

O destined star my spirit sought from birth!
    Thy throne is light of worship! heavens too high,
        Thy flame is made Infinity to me!
I watch thee, from this altar of the earth,
    As one who stands beneath a cloudless sky.
        And from a mountain gazes on the sea.


Bibliography Entry