My lady sits in her rose-hued room,
   And looks from her window on tropical bowers;
Her life is a poem of beauty and bloom,
   And she spends her days like the hot-house flowers.

She stars with fortunes her blue-black hair,
   And robed in the rarest Venetian laces,
She moves through her garden frail and fair,
   As one of the plants in those porcelain vases.

Has she a heart?  And of what is it made?
   Is she a creature of earth, quite human?
Is she a flower that, placed in the shade,
   Would droop and die? Or is she a woman?

I have studied the question and cannot tell,
   Whether I really dare to love her,
Of whether I might not worship as well
   One of the blue clouds sailing above her.

What if I won her?  I would not dare
   To clasp the wonderful myth to my bosom,
In her dainty jewels, and laces rare;
   'Twould be like crushing some sensitive blossom.

Fair to see as a work of art,
   I could gaze forever upon her beauty;
But could she love with a woman's heart?
   And perform a wife and mother's duty?

How could a creature so daintily dressed,
   And knowing no thought but her own sweet pleasure,
Nourish a child from her lace-hung breast,
   And yield her youth to a household treasure?

Nay, nay! my lady keep your grace,
   Live and reign in your world of fashion,
And I will find me a plainer face,
   And a heart that has room for love and passion.

Maurine by Ella Wheeler
Milwaukee: Cramer, Aikens & Cramer, 1876.

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