In Praise of Shame

Last night unto my bed bethought there came 
Our lady of strange dreams, and from an urn 
She poured live fire, so that mine eyes did burn 
At the sight of it. Anon the floating fame 
Took many shapes, and one cried: “I am shame 
That walks with Love, I am most wise to turn 
Cold lips and limbs to fire; therefore discern 
And see my loveliness, and praise my name.” 

And afterwords, in radiant garments dressed 
With sound of flutes and laughing of glad lips, 
A pomp of all the passions passed along 
All the night through; till the white phantom ships 
Of dawn sailed in. Whereat I said this song, 
“Of all sweet passions Shame is the loveliest.”

From The Chameleon, Vol. 1, No. 1 (December 1894). This poem is in the public domain.