Modern Love XXXIII: In Paris, at the Louvre

by George Meredith

'In Paris, at the Louvre, there have I seen
The sumptuously-feathered angel pierce
Prone Lucifer, descending. Looked he fierce,
Showing the fight a fair one? Too serene!
The young Pharsalians did not disarray
Less willingly their locks of floating silk:
That suckling mouth of his, upon the milk
Of heaven might still be feasting through the fray.
Oh, Raphael! when men the Fiend do fight,
They conquer not upon such easy terms.
Half serpent in the struggle grow these worms
And does he grow half human, all is right.'
This to my Lady in a distant spot,
Upon the theme: While mind is mastering clay,
Gross clay invades it. If the spy you play,
My wife, read this! Strange love talk, is it not?

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