The Euclidean Domain
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Has looked on beauty bare. Fortunate they
Who, though once only and then but far away,
Have heard her massive sandal set on stone.
—Edna St. Vincent Millay, Sonnet
Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare?
Has no one else of her seen hide or hair?
Nor heard her massive sandal set on stone?
Nor spoken with her on the telephone?
Proud poets, as you penned your paeans to Beauty,
Did you not think it was your bounden duty
(Though it were one that any might have loathed)
To tell that you have only seen her clothed?
And as you sang praise, Orpheus, of Eurydice,
Your mouth became the orifice of your idiocy!
For Beauty bare you never yet had seen,
’Twixt Hades’ depths and lofty Hippocrene.
O Beauty! Would you, for this mathematician,
Remove (if it would cause to give permission
To look on Beauty bare too great a scandal),
Once only, and then but far away, your sandal?