Nonfiction > Lionel Strachey, et al., eds. > The World’s Wit and Humor > American
The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes.  1906.
Vols. I–V: American
The Sea
By Eva L. Ogden
From “The Century Magazine,” December, 1881

SHE was rich, and of high degree;
A poor and unknown artist he.
“Paint me,” she said, “a view of the sea.”
So he painted the sea as it looked the day
That Aphrodite arose from its spray;        5
And it broke, as she gazed on its face the while,
Into its countless-dimpled smile.
“What a poky, stupid picture!” said she;
“I don’t believe he can paint the sea!”
Then he painted a raging, tossing sea,        10
Storming, with fierce and sudden shock,
Wild cries, and writhing tongues of foam,
A towering, mighty fastness-rock.
In its sides, above those leaping crests,
The thronging sea-birds built their nests.        15
“What a disagreeable daub!” said she;
“Why, it isn’t anything like the sea!”
Then he painted a stretch of hot, brown sand,
With a big hotel on either hand,
And a handsome pavilion for the band—        20
Not a sign of the water to be seen
Except one faint little streak of green.
“What a perfectly exquisite picture!” said she;
“It’s the very image of the sea!”

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