Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
985. On a Miniature
By Henry Augustin Beers
THINE old-world eyes—each one a violet
  Big as the baby rose that is thy mouth—
Set me a-dreaming. Have our eyes not met
  In childhood—in a garden of the South?
Thy lips are trembling with a song of France,        5
  My cousin, and thine eyes are dimly sweet;
’Wildered with reading in an old romance
  All afternoon upon the garden seat.
The summer wind read with thee, and the bees
  That on the sunny pages loved to crawl;        10
A skipping reader was the impatient breeze,
  And turned the leaves, but the slow bees read all.
And now thy foot descends the terrace stair;
  I hear the rustle of thy silk attire;
I breathe the musky odors of thy hair,        15
  And airs that from thy painted fan respire.
Idly thou pausest in the shady walk,
  Thine ear attentive to the fountain’s fall;
Thou mark’st the flower-de-luce sway on her stalk,
  The speckled vergalieus ripening on the wall.        20
Thou hast the feature of my mother’s race,
  The gilded comb she wore, her smile, her eye;
The blood that flushes softly in thy face
  Crawls through my veins beneath this northern sky.
As one disherited, though next of kin,        25
  Who lingers at the barred ancestral gate,
And sadly sees the happy heir within
  Stroll careless through his forfeited estate,—
Even so I watch thy southern eyes, Lisette,
  Lady of my lost paradise, and heir        30
Of summer days that were my birthright. Yet
  Beauty like thine makes usurpation fair.


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