Home  »  A Library of American Literature  »  Venus of the Louvre

Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Venus of the Louvre

By Emma Lazarus (1849–1887)

[Born in New York, N. Y., 1849. Died there, 1887. Poems, Narrative, Lyric, and Dramatic. Collective Edition. 1888.]

DOWN the long hall she glistens like a star,

The foam-born mother of Love, transfixed to stone,

Yet none the less immortal, breathing on.

Time’s brutal hand hath maimed but could not mar.

When first the enthralled enchantress from afar

Dazzled mine eyes. I saw not her alone,

Serenely poised on her world-worshipped throne,

As when she guided once her dove-drawn car,—

But at her feet a pale, death-stricken Jew,

Her life adorer, sobbed farewell to love.

Here Heine wept! Here still he weeps anew,

Nor ever shall his shadow lift or move,

While mourns one ardent heart, one poet-brain,

For vanished Hellas and Hebraic pain.