PAINTER in Paphos and Cythera famed
Depict, I pray, the absent Iris’ face.
Thou hast not seen the lovely nymph I’ve named;
The better for thy peace. — Then will I trace
For thy instruction her transcendent grace.
Begin with lily white and blushing rose,
Take then the Loves and Graces . . . But what good
Words, idle words? for Beauty’s Goddess could
By Iris be replaced, nor one suppose
The secret fraud — their grace so equal shows.
Thou at Cythera couldst, at Paphos too,
Of the same Iris Venus form anew.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:52