Sonnet III

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AND bless'd was she thou lovedst, for whose sake
Thy wit did veil in fanciful disguise
The answer which thou wert compell'd to make
To Rome's High Priest, and call'd her then "Thine Eyes;"
Tho' of her life obscure there is no trace,
Save where its thread with THY bright history twines,--
Tho' all we know of her be that sweet face
Whose nameless beauty from thy canvass shines,--
Dependent still upon her Raphael's fame,
And but recorded by her low degree,
As one who had in life no higher claim
Than to be painted and be loved by thee;--
Yet would I be forgot, as she is now,
Once to have press'd my lips on that seraphic brow!

© Caroline Norton