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Song from Judith 3

 BALKIS was in her marble town, 
And shadow over the world came down.
Whiteness of walls, towers and piers, That all day dazzled eyes to tears, Turned from being white-golden flame, And like the deep-sea blue became.
Balkis into her garden went; Her spirit was in discontent Like a torch in restless air.
Joylessly she wandered there, And saw her city's azure white Lying under the great night, Beautiful as the memory Of a worshipping world would be In the mind of a god, in the hour When he must kill his outward power; And, coming to a pool where trees Grew in double greeneries, Saw herself, as she went by The water, walking beautifully, And saw the stars shine in the glance Of her eyes, and her own fair countenance Passing, pale and wonderful, Across the night that filled the pool.
And cruel was the grief that played With the queen's spirit; and she said: 'What do I here, reigning alone? For to be unloved is to be alone.
There is no man in all my land Dare my longing understand; The whole folk like a peasant bows Lest its look should meet my brows And be harmed by this beauty of mine.
I burn their brains as I were sign Of God's beautiful anger sent To master them with punishment Of beauty that must pour distress On hearts grown dark with ugliness.
But it is I am the punisht one.
Is there no man, is there none, In whom my beauty will but move The lust of a delighted love; In whom some spirit of God so thrives That we may wed our lonely lives.
Is there no man, is there none? '— She said, 'I will go to Solomon.

Poem by Lascelles Abercrombie
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Book: Reflection on the Important Things