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LIKE the leaf of a rose on the snow is thy face,
Ensconced in the ruffle of deep Venice lace.
Each pearl is the price of a soul lost to peace
In the necklace that hangs on thy velvet pelisse.
What poison lies hid in the ring on thy hand,
With its hypocrite symmetry, shaped to command?
What quenchless Greek fire burns low in those eyes,
And that small heart-shaped mouth where the Judas kiss lies?
Is the beam from the emerald pear on thy breast,
Like the conscience beneath it, one moment at rest?
What souls of dead lovers have hung on each thread
Of the brown silken tresses that circle thy head!
Oh! poisoned thy glance, like the cup thou couldst mix;
Thy beauty was fierce, like thy hound with his tricks.
Thy love was a curse, to possess thee was death,
And the fair flowers of God wilted low at thy breath.
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