Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. I. Of Home: of Friendship
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume I. Of Home: of Friendship.  1904.
Poems of Home: IV. Youth
A Girl of Pompeii
Edward Sanford Martin (1856–1939)
A PUBLIC haunt they found her in:
    She lay asleep, a lovely child;
    The only thing left undefiled
Where all things else bore taint of sin.
Her charming contours fixed in clay        5
    The universal law suspend,
    And turn Time’s chariot back, and blend
A thousand years with yesterday.
A sinless touch, austere yet warm,
    Around her girlish figure pressed,        10
    Caught the sweet imprint of her breast,
And held her, surely clasped, from harm.
Truer than work of sculptor’s art
    Comes this dear maid of long ago,
    Sheltered from woful chance, to show        15
A spirit’s lovely counterpart,
And bid mistrustful men be sure
    That form shall fate of flesh escape,
    And, quit of earth’s corruptions, shape
Itself, imperishably pure.        20

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