Anthony M. Ludovici
In Mansel Fellowes
O precious maid, what need had you to pierce
Our paltry secrets, holding, as you did, the key
To that deep mystery, fair looks,
Which is the greatest secret thing of all?
Were you not doomed to disillusionment
When you stooped down toward this ugly Age
To taste its nectar, seeing that you hailed
From where the choicest nectars are distilled?
But now 'tis done and you have cast away
With pale astonishment the acrid cup;
Not pausing for a moment to reflect
That you could claim what few dare even boast,
That when a soul's more precious than its Age
Its ancestors for company are best.
All else in such a plight must spell regret
That bitter word which tastes of rose-leaves dead.
But they, your ancestors, O precious maid,
Were your imagination and its joys,
What hope had you then that the nobler past
Would not eclipse this present like a sun
Uprising next an artificial flare?
* * * * * * *
The noblest worship is of ancestors.
Rare as you were, you should have been more rare,
And scorned to seek your equal in this Age.