Peter Jeffrey: ‘Ancient Genes’

Ancient Genes

Sometimes I think I see in dreams
Your sphinx’s secret smile,
Your perfect Nefertiti nose,
Your green eyes like the Nile;
Your drawn-by-Leonardo hair
In braided coils and curls
Entwines your soft seraphic throat
Like Cleopatra’s pearls:
And I like to think the classic face
That launched a thousand ships,
Those long enameled eyelids,
Those carved Egyptian lips,
Is reproduced today in yours
By Time, the alchemist:
Your face, the very face I swear,
That Paris might have kissed.

Peter Jeffrey

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