Eros used to be terrible, splendid, and drive men to nobility and women to fidelity. Now it is broken, gone, and this poem does not resonate.
WITHIN your magic web of hair, lies furled
The fire and splendour of the ancient world;
The dire gold of the comet’s wind-blown hair;
The songs that turned to gold the evening air
When all the stars of heaven sang for joy.
The flames that burnt the cloud-high city Troy.
The mænad fire of spring on the cold earth;
The myrrh-lit flame that gave both death and birth
To the soul Phoenix; and the star-bright shower
That came to Danaë in her brazen tower…
Within your magic web of hair lies furled
The fire and splendour of the ancient world.
We have forgotten the Phoenix, Danae, Helen, Paris, Troy… and Penelope. More fools us.