Louise Chandler Moulton

Laus Veneris

   A Picture by Burne Jones

PALLID with too much longing,
  White with passion and prayer,
Goddess of love and beauty,
  She sits in the picture there,--

Sits with her dark eyes seeking
  Something more subtle still
Than the old delights of loving
  Her measureless days to fill.

She has loved and been loved so often
  In her long, immortal years,
That she tires of the worn-out rapture,
  Sickens of hopes and fears.

No joys or sorrows move her,
  Done with her ancient pride;
For her head she found too heavy
  The crown she has cast aside.

Clothed in her scarlet splendor,
  Bright with her glory of hair,
Sad that she is not mortal,--
  Eternally sad and fair,

Longing for joys she knows not,
  Athirst with a vain desire,
There she sits in the picture,
  Daughter of foam and fire.

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