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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

VENUS OF THE NEEDLE, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: O maryanne, you pretty girl
Alternate Author Name(s): Pollex, D.; Walker, Patricius

O MARYANNE, you pretty girl,
Intent on silky labor,
Of sempstresses the pink and pearl,
Excuse a peeping neighbor!

Those eyes, forever drooping, give
The long brown lashes rarely;
But violets in the shadows live, -
For once unvail them fairly.

Hast thou not lent that flounce enough
Of looks so long and earnest ?
Lo, here 's more "penetrable stuff,"
To which thou never turnest.

Ye graceful fingers, deftly sped!
How slender, and how nimble!
O might I wind their skeins of thread,
Or but pick up their thimble!

How blest the youth whom love shall bring,
And happy stars embolden,
To change the dome into a ring,
The silver into golden!

Who 'll steal some morning to her side
To take her finger's measure,
While Maryanne pretends to chide,
And blushes deep with pleasure.

Who 'll watch her sew her wedding-gown,
Well conscious that it is hers,
Who 'll glean a tress, without a frown,
With those so ready scissors.

Who 'll taste those ripenings of the south,
The fragrant and delicious -
Don't put the pins into your mouth,
O Maryanne, my precious!

I almost wish it were my trust
To teach how shocking that is;
I wish I had not, as I must,
To quit this tempting lattice.

Sure aim takes Cupid, fluttering foe,
Across a street so narrow;
A thread of silk to string his bow,
A needle for his arrow.

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