Puslapio vaizdai

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 !"


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 ;

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 !



"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
Alcôves, Ruelles, the Lever, and the Coucher,

Patches and Ruffles, Roués and Marquises ;
The little great, the infinite small thing
That ruled the hour when Louis Quinze was king.

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;
Marat was young, and Guillotin dissecting,

Corday unborn, and Lamballe in Savoie ;
No faubourg yet had heard the Tocsin ring :-
This was the summer-when Grasshoppers sing.

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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.

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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 flippant 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,
Made of his work a land of languid Maying,

Filled with false gods and muses misbegot ;-
A Versailles Eden of cosmetic youth,
Wherein most things went naked, save the Truth.

Once, only once,-perhaps the last night's revels

Palled in the after-taste, -our Boucher sighed
For that first beauty, falsely named the Devil's,

Young-lipped, unlessoned, joyous, and clear-eyed;
Flung down his palette like a weary man,
And sauntered slowly through the Rue Sainte-Anne.

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.

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