Annotation for an Epitaph

“A fairer person lost not heaven.”

Paradise Lost

THESE are the sins for which they cast out angels,
The bagatelles by which the lovely fall:
A hand that disappoints, an eye dissembling—
These and a few beside: you had them all.
Beneath this cherubed stone reclines the beauty
That cherubs at the Chair will never see,
Shut out forever by the gold battalions
Stern to forgive, more rigorous than we.
Oh, we were quick to hide our eyes from foible
And call such beauty truth; what though we knew?
Never was truth so sweet and so outrageous;
We loved you still the more because untrue.
But in the baroque corridors of heaven
Your lively coming is a hope destroyed.
Squadrons of seraphs pass the news and ponder,
And all their luxury glitters grand and void.