On Mistress Nicely, A Pattern For Housekeepers

She was a woman peerless in her station,
With household virtues wedded to her name;
Spotless in linen, grass-bleached in her fame;
And pure and clear-starched in her conversation;
Thence in my Castle of Imagination
She dwells for evermore, the dainty dame,
To keep all airy draperies from shame
And all dream furnitures in preservation:

There walketh she with keys quite silver bright,
In perfect hose and shoes of seemly black,
Apron and stomacher of lily white,
And decent order follows in her track:
The burnished plate grows lustrous in her sight,
And polished floors and tables shine her back.

by Thomas Hood

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