When Cleopatra’s proud victorious face
Smiled from the stone on Hathor’s temple wall,
Did not the sculptor’s hand, with trembling, trace
The form that held her Anthony in thrall?
Not as Augustus Caesar, unconcerned
Of soul, with passion passionlessly cold,
His heart within his hand must needs have burned
Who wrought the beauty that our eyes behold.
The vulture head-dress, horns, and plaits of hair,
The stately neck that pearls of price adorn,
These had he graved for goddesses as fair,
Yet never carved such lips of love and scorn.
(Idylls and Lyrics of the Nile, p. 106)