Look Not on My Body but My Soul

Music: Prelude in E minor.
By Dimitri Shostakovich. Sequenced by J. Marques.

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Look not on my body but my soul,
Only on the face behind the veil,
Only with the touch of inner Braille,
Knowing through yourself my being whole.
Nor ought you touch my skin but with your heart,
Only in the tenderness of love.
Though my outer self repulsive prove,
Of me the mask is but a minor part.
Nor should you know me out of charity:
Misfortune can become a kind of grace,
Yielding special wisdom to a few.
Bring mainly for yourself your empathy,
Opening a richer, wider view,
Doorway to a person much like you
Yet fired by the fate he must embrace.

Copyright by Nicholas Gordon

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