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Or,-to wean you from the vapours ;
As for these,
Or a younger grace shall please;
“ Belle Marquise !"Till your frothed-out life's commotion Settles down to Ennui's ocean, Or a dainty sham devotion,
“ Belle Marquise !"
No: we neither like nor love you,
“ Belle Marquise ! ” Lesser lights we place above you, —
Milder merits better please.
Into plainer modern days,-
Giving grace not all the praise ; And, en partant, Arsinoé,—
Without malice whatsoever,We shall counsel to our Chloë
To be rather good than clever ;
For we find it hard to smother
Just one little thought, Marquise ! Wittier perhaps than any other,You were neither Wife nor Mother,
“ Belle Marquise ! ”
THE STORY OF ROSINA.
AN INCIDENT IN THE LIFE OF FRANÇOIS BOUCHER.
"On ne badine pas avec l'amour."
THE scene, a wood. A shepherd tip-toe creeping,
To lay beside a silk-clad Oread sleeping
Under an urn; yet not so sound she sleeps But that she plainly sees his graceful act; “He thinks she thinks he thinks she sleeps,” in fact.
One hardly needs the “ Peint par François Boucher."
All the sham life comes back again,-one sees
Patches and Ruffles, Roués and Marquises ;
For these were yet the days of halcyon weather,
A“Martin's summer”, when the nation swam,
Down the full tide of jest and epigram ;
Plain Roland still was placidly “inspecting,”
Not now Camille had stirred the Café Foy;
Corday unborn, and Lamballe in Savoie ;
And far afield were sun-baked savage creatures,
Female and male, that tilled the earth, and wrung Want from the soil ;-lean things with livid features,
Shape of bent man, and voice that never sung: These were the Ants, for yet to Jacques Bonhomme Tumbrils were not, nor any sound of drum.
But Boucher was a Grasshopper, and painted,
-en couleur de rose,
Swayed the light realm of ballets and bon-mots;-
A laughing Dame, who sailed a laughing cargo
Of flippant loves along the Fleuve du Tendre;
Whose gentlest merit gentiment se rendre;
Her Boucher served, till Nature's self betraying,
As Wordsworth sings, the heart that loved her not,
Filled with false gods and muses misbegot ;-
Once, only once,-perhaps the last night's revels
Palled in the after-taste, -our Boucher sighed
Young-lipped, unlessoned, joyous, and clear-eyed;
Wherefore, we know not ; but, at times, far nearer
Things common come, and lineaments half-seen Grow in a moment magically clearer ;
Perhaps, as he walked, the grass he called “too green” Rose and rebuked him, or the earth “ill-lighted" Silently smote him with the charms he slighted.
But, as he walked, he tired of god and goddess,
Nymphs that deny, and shepherds that appeal; Stale seemed the trick of kerchief and of bodice,
Folds that confess, and flutters that reveal; Then as he grew more sad and disenchanted, Forthwith he spied the very thing he wanted.