Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ASOLANDO: THE LADY AND THE PAINTER, by ROBERT BROWNING

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

ASOLANDO: THE LADY AND THE PAINTER, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: Yet womanhood you reverence
Last Line: She. That you jest!
Subject(s): Women; Paintings & Painters; Models

She. YET womanhood you reverence,
So you profess!
He. With heart and soul
She. Of which fact this is evidence!
To help Art-study, -- for some dole
Of certain wretched shillings, -- you
Induce a woman -- virgin too --
To strip and stand stark-naked?
He. True.
She. Nor feel you so degrade her?
He. What
-- (Excuse the interruption) -- clings
Half-savage-like around your hat?
She. Ah, do they please you? Wild-bird-wings!
Next season, -- Paris-prints assert, --
We must go feathered to the skirt:
My modiste keeps on the alert.

Owls, hawks, jays -- swallows most approve.
He. Dare I speak plainly?
She. Oh, I trust!
He. Then, Lady Blanche, it less would move
In heart and soul of me disgust
Did you strip off those spoils you wear,
And stand -- for thanks, not shillings -- bare
To help Art like my Model there.
She well knew what absolved her -- praise
In me for God's surpassing good,
Who granted to my reverent gaze
A type of purest womanhood.
You -- clothed with murder of his best
Of harmless beings -- stand the test!
What is it you know?
She. That you jest!

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