She Walked in Beauty

a tribute to Gao Rongrong* after Lord Byron’s “She Walks in Beauty”

She walked in Beauty, pure as light—
Like sun and moon and starlit skies
Illuminate the darkest night…
Such was the brightness of her eyes
And shining smile of sheer delight
That all would pause when she passed by.

With faith in Truth, Compassion, and
Forbearance firm within her heart,
Steadfast like diamond is to sand,
She rose above to stand apart;
Though suffering at Evil’s hand,
Her innocence would ne’er depart.

Assailed by Evil’s vicious blows,
To its demands she’d not submit.
Instead, ‘midst pain, she bravely chose
To use her life—each breath of it—
And to the world the crimes expose
Of communism’s biggest twit.

True Beauty’s light shall never fade,
While Evil in the ground is laid.



*Gao Rongrong was a Falun Dafa practitioner who was tortured to death by the Chinese communist regime because of her beliefs. She had her family secretly take photos of her mutilated face and use them to expose the persecution of Falun Dafa, which was launched on July 20, 1999 and still continues to this day.

Connie Phillips is a former English teacher and editor living in Massachusetts.


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34 Responses

  1. Lixuan

    It’s so sad that this is still happening in China. Her courage is what we all need to stand against evil in the world.

    • connie.phillips

      Thank you, Lixuan, for your comment. She and all those who have suffered under that evil are truly remarkable.

  2. Wendy

    Chinese communist regime is a ROBBER.
    Do you have good results when doing business with robbers?
    Please Wake Up

  3. Abraham

    Yes, as the tribute expressed,

    True Beauty’s light shall never fade,
    While Evil in the ground is laid.

    It’s the time to end this 20-year tragedy.

  4. Laura Hatton

    Gao Rongrong was among the ‘most wanted’ or ‘key figures’ by the Chinese police simply because she had the photos of her mutilated face shared around the world. And this led to the final hunting for her that eventually
    resulted in her murder at the hands of the Chinese state. This point
    emphasizes the evilness of the regime. That the ‘crimes’ they count
    are the very exposure of their true crime.

  5. Petr

    I think this is how people used to keep their righteousness. Beautiful work.

  6. C.B. Anderson

    No one is able to hold these people accountable for the crimes they commit, and until that happens, such atrocities will continue. I wonder, however, Connie, what you meant by “twit” in the last line of the third stanza.

    • Damian Robin

      Hi CB, you are impeccable with language in your poetry. So it’s fun to find fault with your prose here. You say “No one is able to hold these people accountable” and then “until that happens”. You probably know the name for this slip.
      On a general note on China, I think things could change quickly. Remember the tipping point when the Soviet Union fell.
      But much depends on who or what replaces the CCP.

      • Evan Mantyk

        Kip, communism’s biggest twit, or fool, is the Chinese government and the Chinese people who still cling to membership in the Chinese Communist Party. There has been a “quit-party” (tuidang) movement in recent years, which continues now: However, there are Chinese people abroad, even overseas in America, who are stupidly hanging on and are too terrified of the consequences for themselves via influence and propaganda from the Chinese embassies and consulates and the mainland-controlled Chinese media; they worry about repercussions to themselves or their families. These people should stop being fooled and wake up, as others are doing.

    • connie

      Thanks for your comment, C.B. Actually, Evan suggested “twit” which I thought was a perfect choice. He gives a great explanation in his reply.

  7. David Watt

    Connie, this is a fitting tribute to a courageous woman. The world must be continually reminded of such heinous crimes.

    • connie

      I appreciate your comment, David. And totally agree that we need to keep reminding people of what evil is out there…

  8. Baidu Wercs Lee

    The imperialist Chinese Communist Party membership is about 88,000,000 people (more than the nation of Germany), and, as the ruling elites, they dominate the economy, academia, and hundreds of millions of people. But, despite that, brave individuals, like Gao Rongrong, reminded us of the evils they have perpetrated, and continue to do so now under director Xi Jinping. I am thankful for honest individuals, like Ms. Phillips, Mr. Robin and Mr. Mantyk, who keep such atrocities before our minds, lest we forget.

  9. Carina

    So much suffering and evilness just for being a good-hearted person and living by Truth Compassion, Tolerance.
    Beautiful poem, very well written!

    • connie

      Thank you very much, Carina! Rongrong and the others who suffered so much for their faith are truly inspiring.

  10. Adryahn Hawkins

    The persecutors have proven that they are NOT human. The Gods will not allow them to escape the retribution that’s coming.

  11. Albert

    Gao Rongrong has really been the face of the persecution. The bravery that she showed and that those who helped to expose what happened showed was truly powerful in helping to let the world know about the persecution of Falun Gong by the communist regime in China.

  12. Patrick Miller

    even though it’s not so much about the beauty or scenes of impressions that makes her popular in the movement against the persecution of her religion, it is still a great and valid poem that worth noting for.


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