Your Fault
It is of her virtues you evade the snare,
Then for her faults you’ll fall in love with her.
—Francis Thompson.
       Your fault, Lady, is to be
       Womankind’s epitome;
No girl’s, but girl essential is your being
Could we but see beyond our mortal seeing,
Could we but hear beyond our mortal song
The song immortal of seraphic throng,
Could we but know upon each mortal sign
The seal of immortality divine.
’Tis no virtue that you are
Virtuous—nor for the star
To shine, nor flowers to array
Themselves in glory from the clay;
That yours is wisdom old and new
For this we praise your God—not you;
Yet there is something we can still
Sing in your praise—your wayward will;
Something there is that you may own,
Your faults, thank God, are yours alone
Not heaven’s, nor ever may we doubt
If these from heaven can shtit you out
Ourselves shall storm the desperate road
And welcome you to your abode.
’Tis for this fault we love you, that your eyes
Regard not unattainable Paradise,
That not amid the fiery stars you spread
The nets of your hair, not ever towards the dead
Set your unwavering feet, your gentle words
Clothe not in thunders that make mute the birds,
Nor yet perplex your pentecostal tongue
With songs too crazy to be said or sung,
Never make moan of other’s joys and fears
And see all Nature weeping through your tears,
Fly not, Icarian-wingéd, to the sun
Leaving the many to pursue the one,
Chasing, yet hooded hawk, a Shining Dove,
Nor break your heart about the feet of Love.

Webpage © 2001 ELC
Lane Core Jr. (
Created March 19, 2001; not revised.