"What shall I wear to the ball, MaBelle,
   What shall I wear to the ball?
Make me fairer than tongue can tell--
   Make me the fairest of all."

"Fair?  You are always fair Norine--
   Ever and always fair.
Born to be star of the night, and queen,
   Whatever you choose to wear!"

"But I must be fairer than ever, MaBelle,
   Fairer than ever before;
That he may approve, with eyes of love
   And worship forever more."

"He?  It has ever been they, Norine!
   What! you who tread on hearts
And laugh at their pain, and call love vain--
   You caught at last by its arts?"

"Hush, hush!  I have found my king MaBelle,
   I am reading the story old.
Oh, make me so fair, that his lips must swear,
   The love that his eyes have told."

"Down to the carriage swept Norine--
   Away she rode to the ball.
Of all the maidens the stars had seen--
   She was the fairest of all."

"Oh, put these baubles away MaBelle,
   And help me to get undressed.
How weary I am dear, none can tell--
   I am longing so for rest."

"What!  Home from the ball so soon, Norine,
   And pale as the robe you wear?
And how could the revelers spare their Queen,
   And say! did he think you fair?"

"Hush, hush! he was there with his bride, MaBelle
   He was there with his bride at the ball,
We met, in the crowd, and he smiled and bowed,
   And I stole away from them all."

"Ah! God is just, and He reigns, Norine!
   Aye! bury your face, and weep;
You fault, you know--we reap as we sow--
   Go now to your troubled sleep."

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

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