by John Lard Zwerenz
Am I fine, am I beautiful?
I possess many rubies,
And I dine with kings.
I own many fair things,
And my face is young and fresh to the eyes.
Handsome musicians vie for my gaze,
They tell me so in secret ways,
Beneath the blue, enchanting skies.
So tell me then, if I am fine.
The perfume of my body
Is of delicious wine.
So tell me truly,
Am I pretty, am I fine?
My lips are round, and are redder than the rose.
Even the poet in his cloister, in his flowery close
Writes of me this hour.
Tell me, then, do I have power?
O poet of every starlit season,
O bard of greatness, use your reason,
And tell me, then, if I am fine.
"No, " the poet solemnly said,
"For within your spirit you are naught but what is dead.
And though you think yourself fair on the outside,
Beneath your skin, your outer hide
You are but phlegm and there,
Separate from the goodness of the outer air -
Naught but ugliness does within you abide.'
And so, scorned by truth, I walked away,
To find another bard to say:
"Thou art lovely, thou art fine,
More gloriously beautiful than the goddess-like sway
Of mighty Aphrodite, walking in the sunshine.
Thou art lovely, thou art fine! "
And in the grasp of the fresh, autumn air,
I fancied my interior to be more than what is fair.
JOHN LARS ZWERENZ
Last updated December 06, 2016