She walks in beauty still, she walks in grace –
from fable onto canvas. Long I stare:
the reckless bloom that paints her stainless face.
I think I want her – she could take her place
beside me as my feet stroll through life’s care.
I think of troubles soothed by skin so fair;
I think of rippling souls, still fringed with lace.
But look beyond, like Huxley, past those folds:
the battle rages – all is background strife –
as, eyes downcast, in either hand she holds
a branch of peace, and yet a fatal knife.
As Holofernes, drunk and dead, would say:
sometimes it’s wise to hide those thoughts away.