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UNE MARQUISE.

A RHYMED MONOLOGUE IN THE LOUVRE.

"Belle Marquise, vos beaux yeux me font mourir d'amour."

I.

As you sit there at your ease,

O Marquise !

And the men flock round your knees

Thick as bees,

Mute at every word you utter,

Servants to your least frill flutter,

MOLIÈRE.

"Belle Marquise!”

As you sit there growing prouder,

And your ringed hands glance and go,
fan's frou-frou sounds louder,

And your

And your

"beaux yeux" flash and glow ;—

Ah, you used them on the Painter,

As you know,

For the Sieur Larose spoke fainter,

Bowing low,

Thanked Madame and Heaven for Mercy

That each sitter was not Circe,

Or at least he told you so ;

Growing proud, I say, and prouder
To the crowd that come and go,
Dainty Deity of Powder,

Fickle Queen of Fop and Beau,
As you sit where lustres strike you,
Sure to please,

Do we love you most or like you,

"Belle Marquise !"

II.

You are fair; O yes, we know it

Well, Marquise :

For he swore it, your last poet,

On his knees;

And he called all heaven to witness

Of his ballad and its fitness,

“Belle Marquise !”—

You were everything in ère
(With exception of sévère),—
You were cruelle and rebelle,
With the rest of rhymes as well;

You were

66

66 Reine," and "Mère d'Amour";

You were " Vénus à Cythère";

Sappho mise en Pompadour," And "Minerve en Parabère"; You had every grace of heaven In your most angelic face,

With the nameless finer leaven
Lent of blood and courtly race;
And he added, too, in duty,
Ninon's wit and Boufflers' beauty;
And La Vallière's yeux veloutés

Followed these ;

And you liked it, when he said it

(On his knees),

And you kept it, and you read it,

"Belle Marquise!"

III.

Yet with us your toilet graces

Fail to please,

And the last of your last faces,

And your mise;

For we hold you just as real,

"Belle Marquise!”

As your Bergers and Bergères,
Iles d'Amour and Batelières;
As your parcs, and your Versailles,
Gardens, grottoes, and rocailles;
As your Naiads and your trees ;—
Just as near the old ideal

Calm and ease,

As the Venus there, by Coustou,

That a fan would make quite flighty,

Is to her the gods were used to,-
Is to grand Greek Aphroditè,

Sprung from seas.

You are just a porcelain trifle,

"Belle Marquise!"

Just a thing of puffs and patches,

Made for madrigals and catches,

Not for heart-wounds, but for scratches,

O Marquise !

Just a pinky porcelain trifle,

"Belle Marquise !"

Wrought in rarest rose-Dubarry,

Quick at verbal point and parry,
Clever, doubtless ;—but to marry,

No, Marquise !

IV.

For your Cupid, you have clipped him,

Rouged and patched him, nipped and snipped him,

And with chapeau-bras equipped him,

Just to arm you through your wife-time,

"Belle Marquise !”

“Belle Marquise !”

And the languors of your life-time,

Say, to trim your toilet tapers,

Or,-to twist your hair in papers,

D

Or,-to wean you from the vapours ;-
As for these,

You are worth the love they give you,
Till a fairer face outlive you,

Or a younger grace shall please;
Till the coming of the crows' feet,
And the backward turn of beaux' feet,

"Belle Marquise !”—

Till your frothed-out life's commotion
Settles down to Ennui's ocean,

Or a dainty sham devotion,

"Belle Marquise !"

V.

No: we neither like nor love you,

"Belle Marquise!"

Lesser lights we place above you,—
Milder merits better please.

We have passed from Philosophe-dom
Into plainer modern days,—
Grown contented in our oafdom,
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;

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