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veneris; the contiguous elevation of the thighs which, almost at their
commencement rise as high as it does; the admirable expansion of these
bodies inward, or toward each other, by which they almost seem to
intrude upon each other, and to exclude each from its respective place;
the general narrowness of the upper, and the unembraceable expansion of
the lower part thus exquisitely formed;--all these admirable
characteristics of female form, the mere existence of which in woman
must, one is tempted to imagine, be even to herself, a source of
ineffable pleasure--these constitute a being worthy, as the
personification of beauty, of occupying the temples of Greece; present
an object finer, alas! than nature seems even capable of producing; and
offer to all nations and ages a theme of admiration and delight.
Well might Thomson say:--
"So stands the statue that enchants the world,
So bending tries to veil the matchless boast,
The mingled beauties of exulting Greece."
And Byron, in yet higher strain:--
"There, too, the goddess loves in stone, and fills
The air around with beauty;
within the pale
We stand, and in that form and face behold
What Mind can make, when Nature's self would fail;
And to the fond idolaters of old
Envy the innate flash which such a soul could mould.
We gaze and turn away, and know not where,
Dazzled and drunk with beauty, till the heart
Reels with its fulness; there--forever there--
Chained to the chariot of triumphal Art,
We stand as captives, and would not depart."
THE FIRST KISS OF LOVE.
BY LORD BYRON.
Away with those fictions of flimsy romance!
Those tissues of falsehood which folly has wove!
Give me the mild beam of the soul-breathing glance,
Or the rapture which dwells on the first kiss of love.
Ye rhymers, whose bosoms with phantasy glow,
Whose pastoral passions are made for the grove,
From what blest inspiration your sonnets would flow,
Could you ever have tasted the first kiss of love!
I hate you, ye cold compositions of art;
Though prudes may condemn me, and bigots reprove,
I court the effusions that spring from the heart
Which throbs with delight to the first kiss of love.
Oh! cease to affirm that man, since his birth,
From Adam till now, has with wretchedness strove;
Some portion of paradise still is on earth,
And Eden revives in the first kiss of love.
When age chills the blood, when our pleasures are past--
For years fleet away with the wings of the dove--
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