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VENUS VICTRIX.

A FRAGMENT.

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

AND her red lips

Panted for love, as thirsty deer at noon

Pant for the shadowed brook at eventide.

There darted through the ever-glistening white

Of her fair bosom streams of sunset glow;

More rapid in their course than Simois,

More burning than the sun of Araby,

More perfumed than the sweetly scented breeze

Blown from Sicilian golden orange groves.

And from the shaded grotto of her eye

Hung a clear, crystal, cooling, dewy tear,

Sprung from the very ardor of her gaze;

Enticing as the nectar of the gods

To thirsty lip and throat. Her golden hair

Seemed bent to hide what it could not conceal;

Her godlike features shining through the veil,

As, through the pines, the first rays of the sun

Dazzle, and gild the branches, trunks, and leaves.

Half hung across the roseate dimpled back,

And half hung loosely o'er the beating heart,

Curling, as if enamored of itself,

Or longing to embrace the form it decked.

Her rosy cheeks blushed through the golden flood

Like scarlet poppies in a field of wheat.

Her fingers beckoned like the waving trees,

And while forbidding, yet implored approach;

Disclosing in their waverings to and fro

The rounded symmetry of glistening arms,

Like meteor tracks, that, vaulting over heaven,

Encircle all a god could dote upon.

Each soft white foot was made to crush a heart,

But not a flower, beneath its gentle tread;

Was made to bear the ivory pedestals

That carried Venus Victrix through the world.

Z.

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