Thou, whose soft and rosy hues
Mimic form and soul infuse,
Best of painters, come portray
The lovely maid that’s far away.
Far away, my soul! thou art,
But I’ve thy beauties all by heart.
Paint her jetty ringlets playing,
Silky locks, like tendrils straying,
And, if painting hath the skill
To make the spicy balm distil,
Let every little lock exhale
A sign of perfume on the gale.
Where her tresses’ curly flow
Darkles o’er the brow of snow,
Let her forehead beam to light,
Burnish’d as the ivory bright.
Let her eyebrows smoothly rise
In jetty arches o’er her eyes;
Each, a crescent gently gliding,
Just commingling, just dividing.
But, hast thou any sparkles warm,
The lightning of her eyes to form?
Let them effuse the azure rays
That in Minerva’s glances blaze,
Mix’d with the liquid light that lies
In Cytherea’s languid eyes.
O’er her nose and cheek be shed
Flushing white and soften’d red;
Mingling tints, as when there glows
In snowy milk, the bashful rose.
Then her lip, so rich in blisses,
Sweet petitioner for kisses,
Rosy nest, where lurks Persuasion,
Mutely courting Love’s invasion.
Next, beneath the velvet chin,
Whose dimple hides a Love within,
Mould her neck with grace descending,
In a heaven of beauty ending;
While countless charms, above, below,
Sport and flutter round its snow.
Now let a floating lucid veil
Shadow her form, but not conceal;
A charm may peep, a hue may beam,
And leave the rest to Fancy’s dream.
Enough — ’tis she! ’Tis all I seek;
It glows, it lives, it soon will speak!