Reynolds, come, thy pencil prove,
Reynolds, come and paint my love,
Shadowed here her picture see
Shadowed by the muse and me.
The muse who knows 'twere rash to dare
From life to paint a form so fair,
For sure so many charms combine
Half Apelles' fate were thine.
Waving in the wanton air
Black and shining paint her hair;
Could with Life the canvas bloom
Thou mightst bid it breathe perfume.
Let her forehead smooth and clear
Through her shading locks appear,
As at eve the shepherd sees
The silver crescent through the trees;
Nicely bend the living line
Black and delicately fine,
As you paint her sable brows
Arched like two etherial bows.
Gentle as a vernal sky
Soft and sleepy paint her eye
Trembling as the lunar beam
Sweetly silvering o'er the stream.
Now her lovely cheek adorn
With the blushes of the morn.
Give her lip the rose's hue
Moistened with the morning dew,
Paint it breathing love and joy,
Breathing bliss that ne'er can cloy.
Let thy softest pencil throw
O'er her neck a tint of snow,
There let all the Loves repair,
Let all the Graces flutter there.
Loosely chaste o'er all below
Let the snowy mantle flow,
As silvered by the morning beam
The white mist curls on Grasmere's stream,
Which, like a veil of flowing light,
Hides half the landskip from the sight.
Here I see the wandering rill,
The white flocks sleeping on the hill,
While Fancy paints, beneath the veil,
The pathway winding through the dale,
The cot, the seat of Peace and Love,
Peeping through the tufted grove.
Reynolds, Heaven directs the line,
Heaven inspires the fair design;
All but Life thy pencil gives,
Gods! she comes, the picture lives.
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