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Free from all corporeal pains,

Free from flesh, and free from veins;

Thy aerial texture vies

With th' unbodied Deities.


BEST of Painters! now dispense

All thy tinted eloquence:

Master of the roseate art,
Paint the mistress of my heart.
Paint her, absent though she be,
Paint her, as described by me.

Paint her hair in tresses flowing:
Black as jet its ringlets glowing :
If the pallet soar so high,
Paint their humid fragrancy.

Let the colour smoothly show

The gentle prominence of brow;

Smooth as ivory let it shine,

Under locks of glossy twine.

Now her eyebrows length'ning bend;

Neither sever them, nor blend:

Imperceptible the space

Of their meeting arches trace:

Be the picture like the maid;

Her dark eye-lids fringed with shade. Now the real glance inspire;

Let it dart a liquid fire:

Let her eyes reflect the day,

Like Minerva's, hazel-gray,

Like those of Venus, swimming bright,

Brimful of moisture and of light.

Now her faultless nose design

In its flowing aquiline:

Let her cheeks transparent gleam,
Like to roses, strew'd in cream:
Let her lips seduce to bliss,
Pouting to provoke the kiss.

Now her chin minute express,
Rounded into prettiness:
There let all the Graces play;
In that dimpled circle stray;
Round her bended neck delay:
Marble pillar, on the sight
Shedding smooth its slippery white.
For the rest, let drapery swim

In purplish folds o'er every limb;

But, with flimsy texture, show

The shape, the skin, that partial glow: Enough-herself appears; 'tis done;

The picture breathes; the paint will speak



As once a wreath of flowers I wove,
I found, among the roses, Love :
Fast by his wings the boy I clipp'd,
And in my wine immerging dipp'd;
And, as he struggled in the cup,

I gulp'd the draught, and drank him up.
Within me, now, the flutterer springs
From vein to vein with tickling wings.


WHAT lovelier pastime ere has been,
Than forth to walk, when meads are green;
When the west-wind whispers by

With its softest, sweetest sigh:

To mark the blossom of the vine,
And under its broad leaves recline:
Folding a tender girl, whose lip
Breathes all of Venus, as I sip?

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