False, but Beautiful
Dark as a demon’s dream is one I love— In soul—but oh, how beautiful in form! She glows like Venus throned in joy above, Or on the crimson couch of Evening warm Reposing her sweet limbs, her heaving breast Unveiled to him who lights the golden west! Ah, me, to be by that soft hand carest, To feel the twining of that snowy arm, To drink that sigh with richest love opprest, To bathe within that sunny sea of smiles, To wander in that wilderness of wiles And blissful blandishments—it is to thrill With subtle poison, and to feel the will Grow weak in that which all the veins doth fill. Fair sorceress! I know she spreads a net The strong, the just, the brave to snare; and yet My soul cannot, for its own sake, forget The fascinating glance which flings its chain Around my quivering heart and throbbing brain, And binds me to my painful destiny, As bird, that soars no more on high, Hangs trembling on the serpent’s doomful eye.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on November 17, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
“False, but Beautiful” was published in Poems (Henry Payot, 1868).
John Rollin Ridge
John Rollin Ridge was the author of The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta, the Celebrated California Bandit (W. B. Cooke and Co., 1854), which became the first English novel written by a Native American writer, and Poems (Henry Payot & Company, 1868).
Date Published: 1869-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/false-beautiful