Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SECRET, by MAY BRINKLEY

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THE SECRET, by            
First Line: She was a homely person
Last Line: Her lips like cochineal.
Subject(s): Chastity; Death; Dead, The

She was a homely person,
Her eyes were sharp as pain,
Her face was shapeless as a blot,
Or like a pallid stain.

She thought that dabs of color
On lip and cheek was low,
If women needed hectic cheeks
God would have made them so.

Tall were her stiff white collars,
Plain was her long black dress;
Her hair had known no ripples,
Her body no caress.

The hungry years went by her,
With pain and labor blent,
And in the daily fret of life
She seemed serene, content.

And she who flouted fashion,
Till her last gasp of breath,
Succumbed at last to vanity,
To meet her lover . . . death.

They found her clad in satin,
As loud as laughter's peal,
Her hair in ringlets; cheeks blush pink;
Her lips like cochineal.

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