Imaginatively exalted by the willing suffrages of all mankind into higher and purer realms than men themselves inhabit; beautiful women—those of them at least who are beautiful in soul as well as body—do, notwithstanding the relentless law of
earthly fleetingness, still seem, for a long interval, mysteriously exempt from the incantations of decay; for as the outward loveliness touch by touch departs, the interior beauty touch by touch replaces that departing bloom, with charms, which, underivable from earth, possess the ineffaceableness of stars. Else, why at the age of sixty, have some women held in the strongest bonds of love and fealty, men young enough to be their grandsons? And why did all-seducing Ninon unintendingly break scores of hearts at seventy? It is because of the perennialness of womanly sweetness.Pierre; or The Ambiguities, by Herman MelvilleDorothy Parker
Ninon De Lenclos, On Her Last Birthday
So let me have the rouge again,
And comb my hair the curly way.
The poor young men, the dear young men
They'll all be here by noon today.
And I shall wear the blue, I think-
They beg to touch its rippled lace;
Or do they love me best in pink,
So sweetly flattering the face?
And are you sure my eyes are bright,
And is it true my cheek is clear?
Young what's-his-name stayed half the night;
He vows to cut his throat, poor dear!
So bring my scarlet slippers, then,
And fetch the powder-puff to me.
The dear young men, the poor young men-
They think I'm only seventy!