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John Godfrey Saxe
The Coquette

A Portrait

"YOU'RE clever at drawing, I own,"
Said my beautiful cousin Lisette,
As we sat by the window alone,
"But say, can you paint a Coquette?"

"She's painted already," quoth I;

"Nay, nay!" said the laughing Lisette, "Now none of your joking—but try

And paint me a thorough Coquette."

"Well, Cousin," at once I began

In the ear of the eager Lisette, "I'll paint you as well as I can,

That wonderful thing, a Coquette.

"She wears a most beautiful face" ("Of course," said the pretty Lisette), "And isn't deficient in grace,

Or else she were not a Coquette.

"And then she is daintily made"

(A smile from the dainty Lisette) "By people expert in the trade Of forming a proper Coquette.

"She's the winningest ways with the beaux" ("Go on!" said the winning Lisette), "But there isn't a man of them knows The mind of the fickle Coquette!

"She knows how to weep and to sigh"

(A sigh from the tender Lisette), "But her weeping is all in my eye— Not that of the cunning Coquette!

"In short, she's a creature of art"

("Oh hush!" said the frowning Lisette), "With merely the ghost of a heartEnough for a thorough Coquette.

"And yet I could easily prove"

("Now don't!" said the angry Lisette), "The lady is always in love—

In love with herself-the Coquette!

"There do not be angry-you know,
My dear little cousin Lisette,
You told me a moment ago,

To paint you-a thorough Coquette!"

The Stammering Wife

WHEN deeply in love with Miss Emily Pryne,
I vowed, if the maiden would only be mine,

I would always endeavor to please her. She blushed her consent, though the stuttering lass Said never a word except "You're an ass—

An ass-an ass-iduous teaser!"

But when we were married, I found to my ruth,
The stammering lady had spoken the truth;
For often, in obvious dudgeon,

She'd say, if I ventured to give her a jog

In the way of reproof-"You're a dog-you're a dogA dog-a dog-matic curmudgeon!"

And once when I said, "We can hardly afford
This extravagant style, with our moderate hoard,"

And hinted we ought to be wiser.

She looked, I assure you, exceedingly blue,

And fretfully cried, "You're a Jew-you're a JewA very ju-dicious adviser!"

Again, when it happened that, wishing to shirk
Some rather unpleasant and arduous work,

I begged her to go to a neighbor,
She wanted to know why I made such a fuss,
And saucily said, "You're a cuss-cuss-cuss-
You were always ac-cus-tomed to labor!"

Out of temper at last with the insolent dame,
And feeling that madam was greatly to blame
To scold me instead of caressing,

I mimicked her speech-like a churl that I amAnd angrily said, "You're a dam-dam-damA dam-age instead of a blessing!"

My Familiar

AGAIN I hear that creaking step-
He's rapping at the door!-

Too well I know the boding sound

That ushers in a bore.

I do not tremble when I meet
The stoutest of my foes,

But Heaven defend me from the friend
Who comes-but never goes!

He drops into my easy chair,
And asks about the news;
He peers into my manuscript,

And gives his candid views;
He tells me where he likes the line,
And where he's forced to grieve;
He takes the strangest liberties-
But never takes his leave!

He reads my daily paper through
Before I've seen a word;
He scans the lyric that I wrote
And thinks it quite absurd;

He calmly smokes my last cigar,
And coolly asks for more;
He opens everything he sees-
Except the entry door!

He talks about his fragile health,
And tells me of his pains;
He suffers from a score of ills

Of which he ne'er complains;

And how he struggled once with death

To keep the fiend at bay;

On themes like those away he goesBut never goes away!

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Whene'er he comes-that dreadful man-
Disguise it as I may,

I know that, like an autumn rain,
He'll last throughout the day.
In vain I speak of urgent tasks;
In vain I scowl and pout;
A frown is no extinguisher-
It does not put him out!

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