Page:New poems and variant readings, Stevenson, 1918.djvu/131

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TO ROSABELLE

TO ROSABELLE

When my young lady has grown great and staid,
And in long raiment wondrously arrayed,
She may take pleasure with a smile to know
How she delighted men-folk long ago.
For her long after, then, this tale I tell
Of the two fans and fairy Rosabelle.
Hot was the day; her weary sire and I
Sat in our chairs companionably nigh,
Each with a headache sat her sire and I.


Instant the hostess waked: she viewed the scene,
Divined the giants' languor by their mien,
And with hospitable care
Tackled at once an Atlantean chair.
Her pigmy stature scarce attained the seat—
She dragged it where she would, and with her feet
Surmounted; thence, a Phaeton launched, she crowned
The vast plateau of the piano, found
And culled a pair of fans; wherewith equipped,
Our mountaineer back to the level slipped;
And being landed, with considerate eyes,
Betwixt her elders dealt her double prize;
The small to me, the greater to her sire.

As painters now advance and now retire