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Opened Rosina to the unknown comer.
'Twas a young girl—“ une pauvre fille,” she said, "They had been growing poorer all the summer;
Father was lame, and mother lately dead; Bread was so dear, and,-oh! but want was bitter, Would Monsieur pay to have her for a sitter?
Men called her pretty." Boucher looked a minute:
Shamed her poor clothing by a something in it,—
Meantime the Painter, with a mixed emotion,
Drew and re-drew his ill-disguised Marquise, Passed in due time from praises to devotion;
Last when his sitter left him on his knees, Rose in a maze of passion and surprise,— Rose, and beheld Rosina's saddened eyes.
Thrice-happy France, whose facile sons inherit
Power to forget! Our Boucher rose, I With hand still prest to heart, with pulses throbbing, And blankly stared at poor Rosina sobbing.
This was no model, M'sieu, but a lady."
Boucher was silent, for he knew it true. "Est-ce que vous l'aimez?" Never answer made he! Ah, for the old love fighting with the new ! "Est-ce que vous l'aimez?" sobbed Rosina's sorrow. "Bon!" murmured Boucher; "she will come to-morrow."
How like a Hunter thou, O Time, dost harry
Us, thine oppressed, and pleasured with the chase,
Following not less with unrelenting face.
Woe to Rosina! By To-morrow stricken,
Swift from her life the sun of gold declined.
No, not a sign. Already with the Painter
Grace and the nymphs began recovered reign; Truth was no more, and Nature, waxing fainter, Paled to the old sick Artifice again.
Seeing Rosina going out to die,
How should he know what Fame had passed him by?
Going to die! For who shall waste in sadness,
So, in a little, when those Two had parted,Tired of himself, and weary as before, Boucher remembering, sick and sorry-hearted, Stayed for a moment by Rosina's door. "Ah, the poor child !" the neighbours cry of her, "Morte, M'sieu, morte! On dit,—des peines du cœur!"
Just for a second, say, the tidings shocked him,
With a vague sense of something priceless gone;
Then, he forgot her. But, for you that slew her,
Pass on your way. A little while, Marquise,
Be the sky silent, be the sea serene ;
As for Rosina,-for the quiet sleeper,
Whether stone hides her, or the happy grass, If the sun quickens, if the dews beweep her, Laid in the Madeleine or Montparnasse, Nothing we know,-but that her heart is cold, Poor beating heart! And so the story's told.