Lady Lilith - 1868
Oil on canvas
In Talmudic legend, Lilith was th beautiful and elegent, yet evil wife of Adam, before Eve. The picture portrays the subject's aloofness and cold ambience similar to Rossetti's Monna Vanna.
Of Adam's first wife, Lilith, it is told
(The witch he loved before the gift of Eve,)
That, ere the snake's, her sweet tongue could decieve,
And her enchanted hair was the first gold.
And still she sits, young while the earth is old,
And, subtly of herself contemplative,
Draws men to watch the bright net she can weave,
Till heart and body and life are in its hold.
The rose and poppy are her flowers; for where
Is he not found, O Lilith, whom shed scent
And soft-shed kisses and soft sleep shall snare?
Lo! as that youth's eyes burned at thime, so went
Thy spell through him, and left his straight neck bent,
And round his heart one strangling golden hair.