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The mighty Three the ranks broke through
Once on a charger there was laid,
It was on Herod's natal day, Who o'er Judea's land held sway. He married his own brother's wife, Wicked Herodias. She the life Of John the Baptist long had sought, Because he openly had taught That she a life unlawful led, Having her husband's brother wed.
This was he, that saintly John,
He preached penitence and tears,
Herod kept in princely state His birth-day. On his throne he sate, After the feast, beholding her Who danced with grace peculiar; Fair Salome, who did excel All in that land for dancing well. The feastful monarch's heart was fired, And whatsoe'er thing she desired, Though half his kingdom it should be, He in his pleasure swore that he Would give the graceful Salome. The damsel was Herodias' daughter : She to the queen hastes, and besought her To teach her what great gift to name. Instructed by Herodias, came The damsel back; to Herod said, “ Give me John the Baptist's head; “ And in a charger let it be “ Hither straitway brought to me.” Herod her suit would fain deny, But for his oath's sake must comply,
When painters would by art express Beauty in unloveliness, Thee, Herodias' daughter, thee, They fittest subject take to be. They give thy form and features grace ; But ever in thy beauteous face They shew a steadfast cruel gaze, An eye unpitying; and amaze In all beholders deep they mark, That thou betrayest not one spark Of feeling for the ruthless deed, That did thy praiseful dance succeed. For on the head they make you look, As if a sullen joy you took, A cruel triumph, wicked pride, That for your sport a saint had died.
SUGGESTED BY A PICTURE OF TWO FEMALES
BY LIONARDO DA VINCI.
The lady Blanch, regardless of all her lovers'
fears, To the Urs’line convent hastens, and long the
Abbess hears. “ O Blanch, my child, repent ye of the courtly
life ye lead." Blanch looked on a rose-bud and little seem'd
to heed. She looked on the rose-bud, she looked round,
and thought On all her heart bad whisper'd, and all the Nun
had taught. “ I am worshipped by lovers, and brightly shines
my fame, “ All Christendom resoundeth the noble Blanch's