One of two genres of mistakes
The first, as in the lines by Dickinson, Shakespeare, and Hopkins, is the recognition that something formerly held to be beautiful no longer deserves to be so regarded.
The second is the sudden recognition that something from which the attribution of beauty had been withheld deserved all along to be so denominated.
Of these two genres of error, the second seems more grave
Fading (one might hope) could conceivably take place as a merciful numbing, a dulling, of perception, or a turning away to other objects of attention. But the shades of fading here take place under the scrutiny of bright consciousness, the mind registering in technicolor each successive nuance of its own bereavement
In both cases, the perception has undergone a radical alteration -- it breaks apart (as in breaking plates) or disintegrates (as in the festering flower); and in both cases, the alternation is announced by a striking sensory event, a loud sound, an awful smell. Even if the alteration in perception were registered not as the sudden introduction of a negative sensation but as the disappearance of the positive sensory attributes the thing had when it was beautiful, the moment might be equally stark and highly etched.