With the old kindness, the old distinguished grace,
she lies, her lovely piteous head amid dull red hair
propped upon pillows, rouge on the pallor of her face.
She would not have us sad because she is lying there,
and when she meets our gaze her eyes are laughter-lit,
her speech a wicked tale that we may vie with her,
matching our broken-hearted wit against her wit,
thinking of saints and of petronius arbiter.
Curtain Artist bring her dolls and drawing,
bring where our beauty lies
a new modelled doll, or drawing,
with a friend's or an enemy's
features, or maybe showing
her features when a tress
of dull red hair was flowing
over some silken dress
cut in the Turkish fashion,
or, it may be, like a boy's.
We have given the world our passion,
we have naught for death but toys.
She turns the dolls' faces to the wall
because to-day is some religious festival
they had a priest say Mass, and even the japanese,
heel up and weight on toe, must face the wall