On some it will have not been lost
That lovely ones the world over
Expound, as part of their palaver,
On beauty’s costs—to take the most
Familiar, that they fear it’s never

Any but their outer traits
That captivate (a fear with cause)—
And yet consistently refuse
To speak of beauty’s benefits.
Perhaps because they’d sooner lose

Their loveliness, this company,
Than stand before the world and name
The gems that ever fall to them
For having it. Or possibly
A theory founded less on shame

Than mercy would be likelier:
That they refrain, these favored few,
From saying things that in their view
The rest could maybe bear to hear
But shouldn’t be required to.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 31 Number 4, on page 50
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