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TO A LADY SITTING FOR HER PICTURE.

1 THE weary look, desponding air,
2 Ill suits, my Dear, a face so fair;
3 Resume your smiles; again supply
4 The Graces caught by Fancy's eye.
5 While Wilson sketches out the piece,
6 We'll talk, to pass the time, of Greece;
7 Of Greece, as you have often heard,
8 For warriors, and for wits rever'd;
9 The seat of Learning, and the Graces,
10 Fam'd for fine arts, but finer faces;
11 Where Painters, Poets, not as since,
12 Were greater held than any Prince;
13 In temples, palaces carest,
14 None more the Ladies smiles possest;
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15 For they were rich as well as clever,
16 And riches were successful ever;
17 Priests, Senates, Nations, Kings desir'd
18 The works their heaven-taught art inspir'd,
19 And if a pencil chanc'd to drop,
20 An Alexander pick'd it up;
21 Beauties would run to be sketch'd over;
22 The haughty Prince, tho' much a lover,
23 Once for the copy, payment small,
24 Resign'd up the original,
25 The fair Campaspé's matchless charms,
26 More conquering than the Monarch's arms,
27 To one Apelles; one who drew
28 The Queen of Love, as Wilson you.
29 Each lovely maid, of Greece the toast,
30 Such as our British isle can boast,
31 In all their native beauty gay,
32 As Hebé young, and sweet as May,
33 Before him sate: from one he chose
34 The eye which Love half seem'd to close;
35 This lent a face divinely fair,
36 A mild, and yet majestic air;
37 That gave what art in vain would seek,
38 The spirits mantling in the cheek,
39 And lips that softness seem'd to speak.
40 Thus, from their various charms combin'd,
41 One perfect Whole imprest his mind;
42 But had Apelles painted now,
43 He might, my Dear, have copied you,
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44 And, as in truth, I think, was done,
45 He would have from the picture run,
46 And left the Venus but begun,
47 To sacrifice the pride of art
48 To the bright Goddess of his heart,
49 And given up an immortal claim,
50 For beauty's prize, the prize of fame.

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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): TO A LADY SITTING FOR HER PICTURE.
Themes: art; painting; beauty
Genres: address
References: DMI 32618

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Source edition

A collection of poems in four volumes. By several hands. Vol. IV. [The second edition]. London: printed for G. Pearch, 1770, pp. 22-24. 4v. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T116245; DMI 1137)

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