Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > Anthology of Magazine Verse for 1920
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. (1878–1962).  Anthology of Magazine Verse for 1920.  1920.
Portrait of a Lady
Sarah N. Cleghorn
HER eyes are sunlit hazel:
  Soft shadows round them play.
Her dark hair, smoothly ordered,
  Is faintly touched with grey.
Full of a gentle brightness        5
  Her look and language are:—
Kind tongue that never wounded,
  Sweet mirth that leaves no scar.
Her dresses are soft lilac
  And silver-pearly grey.        10
She wears, on meet occasion,
  Modes of a bygone day,
Yet moves with bright composure
  In fashion’s pageant set,
Until her world she teaches        15
  Its costume to forget.
With score of friends foregathered
  Before a cheerful blaze,
She loves good ranging converse
  Of past and future days.        20
Her best delight (too seldom)
  From olden friends to hear
How fares the small old city
  She left this many a year.
(There is a still more pleasant,        25
  A cosier converse still,
When, all the guests departed,
  Close comrades talk their fill.
Beside our smouldering fire
  We muse and wonder late;        30
Commingling household gossip
  With talk of gods and fate.)
All seemly ways of living,—
  Proportion, comeliness,
Authority and order,—        35
  Her loyal heart possess.
Then with what happy fingers
  She spreads the linen fair
In that great Church of Bishops
  That is her darling care!        40
And yet I dare to forecast
  What her new name must be
Writ in the mystic volume
  Beside the crystal sea:—
Instead of “True Believer,”        45
  The golden quill hath penned,
“Of the poor beasts that perish,
  The brave and gentle friend.”

  Scribner’s Magazine


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