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A Sketch
(1790-1867 / the United States)

A Sketch

HER Leghorn hat was of the bright gold tint
The setting sunbeams give to autumn clouds;
The ribband that encircled it as blue
As spots of sky upon a moonless night,
When stars are keeping revelry in heaven;
A single ringlet of her clustering hair
Fell gracefully beneath her hat, in curls
As dark as down upon the raven's wing;
The kerchief, partly o'er her shoulders flung,
And partly waving in the wind, was woven
Of every colour the first rainbow wore,
When it came smiling in its hues of beauty,
A promise from on high to a lost world.
Her robe seemed of the snow just fallen to earth,
Pure from its home in the far winter clouds,
As white, as stainless; and around her waist,
(You might have spanned it with your thumb and finger,)
A girdle of the hue of Indian pearls
Was twined, resembling the faint line of water
That follows the swift bark o'er quiet seas.
Her face I saw not—but her shape—her form,
Was one of those with which creating bards
People a world of their own fashioning,
Forms for the heart to love and cherish ever,
The visiting angels of our twilight dreams.
Her foot was loveliest of remembered things,
Small as a fairy's on a moonlit leaf
Listening the wind-harp's song, and watching by
The wild-thyme pillow of her sleeping queen,
When proud Titania shuns her Oberon.
But 'twas that foot which broke the spell alas!
Its stocking had a deep, deep tinge of blue,—
I turned away in sadness, and passed on.

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