Ovid's Metamorphoses : Pygmalion.

                         Pygmalion saw women waste their lives
                         in wretched shame, and critical of faults
                         which nature had so deeply planted through
                         their female hearts, he lived in preference,
                  375 for many years unmarried.--But while he
                         was single, with consummate skill, he carved
                         a statue out of snow-white ivory,
                         and gave to it exquisite beauty, which
                         no woman of the world has ever equalled:
                  380 she was so beautiful, he fell in love
                         with his creation. It appeared in truth
                         a perfect virgin with the grace of life,
                         but in the expression of such modesty
                         all motion was restrained--and so his art
                  385 concealed his art. Pygmalion gazed, inflamed
                         with love and admiration for the form,
                         in semblance of a woman, he had carved.
                         He lifts up both his hands to feel the work,
                         and wonders if it can be ivory,
                  390 because it seems to him more truly flesh. --
                         his mind refusing to conceive of it
                         as ivory, he kisses it and feels
                         his kisses are returned. And speaking love,
                         caresses it with loving hands that seem
                  395 to make an impress, on the parts they touch,
                         so real that he fears he then may bruise
                         her by his eager pressing. Softest tones
                         are used each time he speaks to her. He brings
                         to her such presents as are surely prized
                  400 by sweet girls; such as smooth round pebbles, shells,
                         and birds, and fragrant flowers of thousand tints,
                         lilies, and painted balls, and amber tears
                         of Heliads, which distill from far off trees.--
                         he drapes her in rich clothing and in gems:
                  405 rings on her fingers, a rich necklace round
                         her neck, pearl pendants on her graceful ears;
                         and golden ornaments adorn her breast.
                         All these are beautiful--and she appears
                         most lovable, if carefully attired,--
                  410 or perfect as a statue, unadorned.
                         He lays her on a bed luxurious, spread
                         with coverlets of Tyrian purple dye,
                         and naming her the consort of his couch,
                         lays her reclining head on the most soft
                  415 and downy pillows, trusting she could feel.
                         The festal day of Venus, known throughout
                         all Cyprus, now had come, and throngs were there
                         to celebrate. Heifers with spreading horns,
                         all gold-tipped, fell when given the stroke of death
                  420 upon their snow-white necks; and frankincense
                         was smoking on the altars. There, intent,
                         Pygmalion stood before an altar, when
                         his offering had been made; and although he
                         feared the result, he prayed: "If it is true,
                  425 O Gods, that you can give all things, I pray
                         to have as my wife--" but, he did not dare
                         to add "my ivory statue-maid," and said,
                         "One like my ivory--." Golden Venus heard,
                         for she was present at her festival,
                  430 and she knew clearly what the prayer had meant.
                         She gave a sign that her Divinity
                         favored his plea: three times the flame leaped high
                         and brightly in the air.
                         When he returned,
                  435 he went directly to his image-maid,
                         bent over her, and kissed her many times,
                         while she was on her couch; and as he kissed,
                         she seemed to gather some warmth from his lips.
                         Again he kissed her; and he felt her breast;
                  440 the ivory seemed to soften at the touch,
                         and its firm texture yielded to his hand,
                         as honey-wax of Mount Hymettus turns
                         to many shapes when handled in the sun,
                         and surely softens from each gentle touch.
                  445 He is amazed; but stands rejoicing in his doubt;
                         while fearful there is some mistake, again
                         and yet again, gives trial to his hopes
                         by touching with his hand. It must be flesh!
                         The veins pulsate beneath the careful test
                  450 of his directed finger. Then, indeed,
                         the astonished hero poured out lavish thanks
                         to Venus; pressing with his raptured lips
                         his statue's lips. Now real, true to life--
                         the maiden felt the kisses given to her,
                  455 and blushing, lifted up her timid eyes,
                         so that she saw the light and sky above,
                         as well as her rapt lover while he leaned
                         gazing beside her--and all this at once--
                         the goddess graced the marriage she had willed,
                  460 and when nine times a crescent moon had changed,
                         increasing to the full, the statue-bride
                         gave birth to her dear daughter Paphos. From
                         which famed event the island takes its name.