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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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