Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Waddington, ed. > The Sonnets of Europe
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Samuel Waddington, comp.  The Sonnets of Europe.  1888.
 
Profanation
By Sully Prudhomme (1839–1907)
 
Translated by Arthur O’Shaughnessy

BEAUTY, that mak’st the body like a fane,
What gods have spurned thee, since thou fall’st thus low,
Lending thyself to harlots and thy glow
To deck dead hearts that cannot live again?
 
Made for the chaste and strong, didst thou in vain        5
Seek strength and purity, round such to throw
Thy glorious garb aright? and is it so
Thou robest sin and hidest falsehood’s stain?
 
Fly back to heaven; profane no more thy worth,
Nor drag down love and genius to base kneeling        10
At foot of courtezans when thee they seek.
 
Quit the white flock of women; and henceforth
Form shall be moulded upon truth, revealing
The soul, and truth upon the brow shall speak.
 
 
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