Beauty

(After Charles Baudelaire)

I am the mirror of a dream in stone.
Heartless, I slay mere mortals each in turn.
I make the artist's fire begin to burn,
Creating something cold, austere, half-known.

And like the Sphinx I brood supreme, alone.
With flesh of snow and heart of ice I spurn
All acts that yield no order. I'm a stern
Taskmaster: tears and laughter I disown.

While I assume the mien of haughty monuments,
The artist bows before my grand design,
Forged from those elements which I define.

I freeze the world with perfect confidence.
Though charmed, my docile slaves draw back from me:
My eyes reflect a ruthless majesty.

© Alice Park 2004
Published in Blue Unicorn February 2004

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