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COME hither, child, from the muddy street,

Dazzling in beauty, to fade so fleet:

Lean thy head on thy rounded arm;

Fear no longer the world's alarm;

Cast thine eyes on the picture there;

Toss back thy burden of glossy hair;

Part thy lips in a sorrowful peace,

As if to welcome thy soul's release.

What Magdalen e'er looked half so sad

For a love which the hypocrite world calls bad!

Sit on that chair, thy draperies thrown

O'er the only treasures thou call'st thine own;

Cast down thine eyes, let their glances rest

On the half-hidden charms of thy budding breast;

Fold thine arms with humble air;

Form thy lips in a silent prayer.

Were Raphael here with his noble skill,

No fairer Mary could canvas fill.

Raise thine eyes with a look of dread;

A sabre waves o'er thine upturned head!

Fall on thy knees near that marble wall;

Toss round thy waist this silken shawl;

Hold this crucifix to thy lips

Like dying saint who the chalice sips;

Look thou as pale as the queen of night;

Let a tear falling just dim thy sight.

Surely St. Agnes would never have died,

Hadst thou as martyr thus knelt at her side.

Now lay thee down on the damask bed;

Blush in those cheeks, whose roses have fled;

Gird thyself with this Persian veil,

But lay not a fold o'er thy limbs so frail;

Throw back thy arm on the pillow white;

Lie half in the shadow, half in the light;

Open thine eyes with a dreamy look;

Toss down beside thee this vellum book.

Titian had given his life to paint

A Venus so tempting to hermit or saint.


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