Nicholas Michell

But Paros courts us to her shores, where gleam
The marble steeps that drink the solar beam.
Here Greece her pillars hewed, and sculptors sought
Their milk-white stores on which their genius wrought:
Oh! lives no Phidias now in all those isles,
To carve again their daughters' sunny smiles?
Wake into life Marpesus' matchless stone,
Bind the fine form with Beauty's mystic zone,
And make immortal all that else will fly,
Like rainbow-dreams, or mists from morning's sky?

Author's note: The mountain of Marpesus, in Faros, contains the celebrated quarries of marble, and there, at this day, are seen huge blocks half cut and abandoned by the ancient workmen. The four kinds of marble most esteemed by the old sculptors appear to have been those of Paros; Mount Pentelicus, near Athens; Naxos; and Luna, near Carrara, in Italy. The Pentelic marble was the whitest; the Parian of a finer texture, and hardening by exposure to the atmos here, proved the most durable, and was also susceptible of the highest polish; hence the Medicean Venus, the Belvidere Apollo, the Laocoon, and other famous statues, are of Parian stone.