Aesthetic

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Aesthetic
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
From Poems of Cheer (1910)

In a garb that was guiltless of colours
   She stood, with a dull, listless air -
A creature of dumps and of dolours,
   But most undeniably fair.

The folds of her garment fell round her,
   Revealing the curve of each limb;
Well proportioned and graceful I found her,
   Although quite alarmingly slim.

From the hem of her robe peeped one sandal -
   "High art" was she down to her feet;
And though I could not understand all
   She said, I could see she was sweet.

Impressed by her limpness and languor,
   I proffered a chair near at hand;
She looked back a mild sort of anger -
   Posed anew, and continued to stand.

Some praises I next tried to mutter
   Of the fan that she held to her face;
She said it was "utterly utter,"
   And waved it with languishing grace.

I then, in a strain quite poetic,
   Begged her gaze on the bow in the sky,
She looked--said its curve was "aesthetic."
   But the "tone was too dreadfully high."

Her lovely face, lit by the splendour
   That glorified landscape and sea,
Woke thoughts that were daring and tender:
   Did HER thoughts, too, rest upon me?

"Oh, tell me," I cried, growing bolder,
   "Have I in your musings a place?"
"Well, yes," she said over her shoulder:
   "I was thinking of nothing in space."


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1919, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.