The arts are old, old as the stones
From which man carved the sphinx austere.
Deep are the days the old arts bring:
Ten thousand years of yesteryear.
She is madonna in an art
As wild and young as her sweet eyes:
A frail dew flower from this hot lamp
That is today’s divine surprise.
Despite raw lights and gloating mobs
She is not seared: a picture still:
Rare silk the fine director’s hand
May weave for magic if he will.
When ancient films have crumbled like
Papyrus rolls of Egypt’s day,
Let the dust speak: “Her pride was high,
All but the artist hid away:
“Kin to the myriad artist clan
Since time began, whose work is dear.”
The deep new ages come with her,
Tomorrow’s years of yesteryear.
[poem from The Chinese Nightingale and Other Poems (New York: Macmillan, 1917)]