It is a sad fact that beauty is sad—

That she, whom I love, whom everyone loves, can never be glad.

Sadness makes her beautiful;

Her beauty makes her sadness more beautiful still.

In her beautiful eyes, I see weariness, that it might rest, climbing to the darkening top of a beautiful, darkening hill.


Her sadness—some see only beauty—is the reason why

Light loves her beauty: her shoulders restful and still. Her inward looking eye.

Sadness is beautiful,

Hoping to be saved by millions of eyes,

Hoping to be drowned in light;

Hoping that if beauty loves her, the shadow of her sadness flies—

But there is no saving kiss. Her sadness never dies.


You, and he, can look at her, and she can, and so can I,

And she can say that she loves you, but that will be a lie.

Melancholy knows the love; the love that melancholy knows

Sleeps. Who will dare to wake her, and ask her to put on clothes?



  1. Anonymous said,

    November 5, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    What an incredibly beautiful poet you wonderfully, how gently the poem breaks the myth of its muse.
    I am touched beyond words with the beautiful piece you have written on me.

  2. noochinator said,

    November 5, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    Ah, beauty, beauty…..

  3. thomasbrady said,

    November 6, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Lovely, Richard Burton. Let the Writing Programs learn that.

  4. thomasbrady said,

    November 6, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    If I must say so myself, it is a remarkable poem, inspired by a beautiful sad face. The first stanza ends and you think the poem can’t possibly get any better and then the second stanza ends with the mournful/immortal “never dies” and you are sure the poem cannot get any better, and then the poem closes with “melancholy” echoing in sound “clothes” with the reverse trope of not removing clothes but sweetly keeping them off.

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