When she stood there inside the locked garden

When she stood there inside the locked garden,
and did not open the door nor yet yield
her body, but silently turned away,
preferred to expose her face to the world

in the light of the Sun who had always
been her faithful friend, she was a picture
of that chaste woman, honored, not shamed, not
scorned, though timid, faint, and ashen-colored

at this, His coming to men, whom belief
in God sustained. Faith said, "gaze upon an
Apollo, whose slightest ray passing by

bathes us all in starlight. His touching her
would make her radiant, stronger, ever
more lovely to everyone who saw her.

An image of the Italian text from Visconti's 1840 edition
From V LXXXIV:244. See also B S1:102:136; Valgrisi 103. A second in a series to the Virgin. References: Susannah in the Apocryphal text; to the Virgin Mary; to Vittoria and Pescara. Mazetti call this an enigmatic grotesque sonnet, one of a series referring to female figures of Christian legend and myth (p 93n137). The crystal vessel, line 2 ("bel cristallo," which Chastity is pictured holding) becomes the virgin hymen and stands for Susannah's body. Key

Amaro Lagrimar
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