CHLORA, come view my soul, and tell
Whether I have contrived it well:
Now all its several lodgings lie,
Composed into one gallery,
And the great arras-hangings, made
Of various facings, by are laid,
That, for all furniture, you’ll find
Only your picture in my mind.
Here thou art painted in the dress
Of an inhuman murderess;
Examining upon our hearts,
(Thy fertile shop of cruel arts,)
Engines more keen than ever yet
Adornèd tryant’s cabinet,
Of which the most tormenting are,
Black eyes, red lips, and curlèd hair.
But, on the other side, thou’rt drawn,
Like to AURORA in the dawn;
When in the east she slumbering lies,
And stretches out her milky thighs,
While all the morning quire does sing,
And manna falls and roses spring,
And, at thy feet, the wooing doves
Sit perfecting their harmless loves.
Like an enchantress here thou show’st,
Vexing thy restless lover’s ghost;
And, by a light obscure, dost rave
Over his entrails, in the cave,
Divining thence, with horrid care,
How long thou shalt continue fair;
And (when informed) them throw’st away
To be the greedy vulture’s prey.
But, against that, thou sitt’st afloat,
Like VENUS in her pearly boat;
The halcyons, calming all that’s nigh,
Betwixt the air and water fly;
Or, if some rolling wave appears,
A mass of ambergris it bears,
Nor blows more wind than what may well
Convoy the perfume to the smell.
These pictures, and a thousand more,
Of thee, my gallery doth store,
In all the forms thou canst invent,
Either to please me, or torment;
For thou alone, to people me,
Art grown a numerous colony,
And a collection choicer far
Than or Whitehall’s, or Mantua’s were.
But of these pictures, and the rest,
That at the entrance likes me best,
Where the same posture and the look
Remains with which I first was took;
A tender shepherdess, whose hair
Hangs loosely playing in the air,
Transplanting flowers from the green hill,
To crown her head and bosom fill.
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:11