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She makes silk purses, broiders stools,
Sings sweetly, dances finely,
And sits a horse divinely.
The desperate man who tried it
And hang himself beside it!
PORTRAIT OF A LADY
IN THE EXHIBITION OF THE ROYAL
What are you, Lady ?- nought is here
To tell us of your name or story, To claim the gazer's smile or fear,
To dub you Whig, or damn you Tory; It is beyond a poet's skill
To form the slightest notion, whether We e'er shall walk through one quadrille,
Or look upon one moon together.
You’re very pretty!—all the world
Are talking of your bright brow's splendour, And of your locks, so softly curled,
And of your hands, so white and slender; Some think you're blooming in Bengal; Some say you're blowing in the city;
Some know you're nobody at all:
I only feel you're very pretty.
But bless my heart! it's very wrong;
You're making all our belles ferocious; Anne “never saw a chin so long;”
And Laura thinks your dress“ atrocious;": And Lady Jane, who now and then
Is taken for the village steeple, Is sure you can't be four feet ten,
And “wonders at the taste of people.”
Soon pass the praises of a face;
Swift fades the very best vermillion;
Oblivion follows on the pillion;
You'll be forgotten-as old debts
By persons who are used to borrow; Forgotten-as the sun that sets,
When shines a new one on the morrow; Forgotten-like the luscious peach
That blessed the schoolboy last September; Forgotten—like a maiden speech,
Which all men praise, but none remember.
Yet, ere you sink into the stream
That whelms alike sage, saint, and martyr, And soldier's sword, and minstrel's theme,
And Canning's wit, and Gatton's charter, Here, of the fortunes of your youth,
My fancy weaves her dim conjectures, Which have, perhaps, as much of truth
As passion’s vows, or Cobbett's lectures.
Was't in the north or in the south
That summer breezes rocked your cradle ? And had you in your baby mouth A wooden or a silver ladle ?
And was your first unconscious sleep
By Brownie banned, or blessed by Fairy? And did you wake to laugh or weep?
And were you christened Maud or Mary?
And was your father called “your grace"?
And did he bet at Ascot races ? And did he chat at commonplace ?
And did he fill a score of places ? And did your lady-mother's charms
Consist in picklings, broilings, bastings ? Or did she prate about the arms
Her brave forefathers wore at Hastings ?
Where were you finished ? tell me where!
Was it at Chelsea, or at Chiswick ? Had you the ordinary share
Of books and backboard, harp and physic? And did they bid you banish pride,
And mind your Oriental tinting ?