Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, by SARAH NORCLIFFE CLEGHORN

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

PORTRAIT OF A LADY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Her eyes are sunlit hazel
Last Line: "the brave and gentle friend."
Subject(s): Women

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
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.
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
Its costume to forget.

With score of friends foregathered
Before a cheerful blaze,
She loves good ranging converse
Of past and future days.
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,
A cosier converse still,
When, all the guests departed,
Close comrades talk their fill.
Beside our smouldering fire
We muse and wonder late;
Commingling household gossip
With talk of gods and fate.)

All seemly ways of living, --
Proportion, comeliness,
Authority and order,--
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!

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,"
The golden quill hath penned,
"Of the poor beasts that perish,
The brave and gentle friend."

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