This gold and paint on board, the fillet in her hair—
I see resemblance, yes, a slantways glimpse of her
Though she is gone away—it was not made from life,
For no one is so blithe to pain, as if a laugh
Were trembling on her lips, as if the fur like grass
Along the dragon’s jaw were just a means of grace.
The face is loveliness, but I recall her more
Lovely still, her spirit like a lamp and mirror
Flushed and glimmering inside the shade of a room.
She glanced at me, the iris at the outer rim
Of the eye looking slantwise, sidelong, attention pricked
By my stare: that was before the grass-green dragon plucked
Her up and gulped her down—now something in me stirs
To think how light she was, a thistledown of stars
That broke into a thousand lights and left this world.
The icon’s cracked. The day she looked at me is old.