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 Before the growing canvas, and anon Once more approach and put the climax on: So she awhile withdrew, her piece she viewed - For half a moment half supposed it good - Spied her mistake, nor sooner spied than ran To remedy; and with the greater fan, In gracious better thought, equipped the guest.
From ill to well, from better on to best, Arts move; the homely, like the plastic kind; And high ideals fired that infant mind. Once more she backed, once more a space apart Considered and reviewed her work of art: Doubtful at first, and gravely yet awhile; Till all her features blossomed in a smile. And the child, waking at the call of bliss, To each she ran, and took and gave a kiss.