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A Discouraging Model
by [?]


Just the airiest, fairiest slip of a thing,
With a Gainsborough hat, like a butterfly’s wing,
Tilted up at one side with the jauntiest air,
And a knot of red roses sown in under there
Where the shadows are lost in her hair.

Then a cameo face, carven in on a ground
Of that shadowy hair where the roses are wound;
And the gleam of a smile O as fair and as faint
And as sweet as the masters of old used to paint
Round the lips of their favorite saint!

And that lace at her throat–and the fluttering hands
Snowing there, with a grace that no art understands
The flakes of their touches–first fluttering at
The bow–then the roses–the hair–and then that
Little tilt of the Gainsborough hat.

What artist on earth, with a model like this,
Holding not on his palette the tint of a kiss,
Nor a pigment to hint of the hue of her hair,
Nor the gold of her smile–O what artist could dare
To expect a result half so fair?