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It was in Venice, 'mid those palaces,
Whose splendour bears th' impress of glorious art,
That wandering day by day I sunned my eyes
In the perpetual summer, which the spells
Of love-taught Titian and the Veronese
Have bid to breathe and glow through many a hall
In their most gorgeous pictures—but of these,
One portrait, more than all its sisters, seemed
To fascinate my fancy.—There she sate,
A lady, young, and so surpassing fair,
That, though attired in all that gold can give,
Her beauty cast her rich robes into shade;
As doth the sun, emerging from bright clouds,
Obscure their lustre. O'er this lovely face
Reigned melancholy, yet so sweetly pale,
It showed but as a soft transparent veil
O’er beauty flowing, giving it new grace.
Her dress, methought, was eastern—the tight vest,
Clasped with bright gems, spoils by her grandsires won
From Turkish foes subdued; but on her head
A diadem of glowing flowers she wore,
Such as but flourish 'neath a southern sun,
And only can Venetian pencil paint.
Her rounded arms were white as falling snow,
Ere it hath kissed our earth.-I often stood
Gazing upon this picture; and one day
Questioned the aged man, whose task it was
To show the palace, if he knew the tale

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