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All Nature’s Art


All Nature’s Art is purest accident,
Not in or of itself—how should she know?—
But in the quality of what is lent
By those who view what Providence made so.

Take grass of softest green— in beetles’ eyes
A dreary, harsh savanna, spiked and bound
In monochrome and perilous disguise:
To us a lawn— to hens, a killing ground.

And so it is, my love, with you and me—
This old fool’s eyes were ever drawn to youth;
Though Nature’s Art lies not in what we see,
Such ‘seeing’ smooths the wilderness of truth.

Though as for that, no truth was ever known
To topple skin-deep Beauty from her throne.