Venus Verticordia, painting and poem both by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
She hath the apple in her hand for thee,
Yet almost in her heart would hold it back;
She muses, with her eyes upon the track
Of that which in thy spirit they can see.
Haply, “Behold, he is at peace,” saith she;
“Alas! the apple for his lips, – the dart
That follows its brief sweetness to his heart, –
The wandering of his feet perpetually!”
A little space her glance is still and coy,
But if she give the fruit that works her spell,
Those eyes shall flame as for her Phygian boy.
Then shall her bird’s strained throat the woe foretell,
And her far seas moan as a single shell,
And through her dark grove strike the light of Troy.
Rossetti’s sketches for Venus Verticordia: