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About this Poem 

“While Loveliness Goes By” first appeared in The Smith College Monthly (October, 1903) and was later published in Branch’s collection The Shoes That Danced and Other Poems (Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1905).

While Loveliness Goes By

Sometimes when all the world seems gray and dun
And nothing beautiful, a voice will cry,
“Look out, look out! Angels are drawing nigh!”
Then my slow burdens leave me, one by one,
And swiftly does my heart arise and run
Even like a child, while loveliness goes by—
And common folk seem children of the sky,
And common things seem shapèd of the sun.
Oh, pitiful! that I who love them, must
So soon perceive their shining garments fade!
And slowly, slowly, from my eyes of trust
Their flaming banners sink into a shade!
While this earth’s sunshine seems the golden dust
Slow settling from that radiant cavalcade.

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

Anna Hempstead Branch

Anna Hempstead Branch was born in New London, Connecticut, in 1875. She is the author of The Heart of the Road and Other Poems (Houghton, Mifflin, and Company, 1901) and The Shoes That Danced (Houghton, Mifflin, and Company, 1905). She died in New York in 1937.