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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."
'HE scene, a wood. A shepherd tip-toe creeping,
Carries a basket, whence a billet peeps, 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,-
Patches and Ruffles, Roués and Marquises ;
For these were yet the days of halcyon weather,
A “Martin's summer”, when the nation swam, Aimless and easy as a wayward feather,
Down the full tide of jest and epigram ;A careless time, when France's bluest blood Beat to the tune of “After us the flood.”
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,
Rose-water Raphael,- -en couleur de rose, The crowned Caprice, whose sceptre, nowise sainted,
Swayed the light realm of ballets and bon-mots;Ruled the dim boudoir's demi-jour, or drove Pink-ribboned flocks through some pink-flowered grove.
A laughing Dame, who sailed a laughing cargo
Of Alippant loves along the Fleuve du Tendre; Whose greatest grace was jupes à la Camargo,
Whose gentlest merit gentiment se rendre;Queen of the rouge-cheeked Hours, whose footsteps fell To Rameau's notes, in dances by Gardel;
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
Perhaps, as he walked, the grass he called "too green”
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.