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She. Yet womanhood you reverence,
           So you profess!
He.                            With heart and soul.
She. Of which fact this is evidence!
           To help Art-study,—for some dole
       Of certain wretched shillings, you
       Induce a woman—virgin too—
       To strip and stand stark-naked?
He.                                                    True.
She. Nor feel you so degrade her?
He.                                                    What
          —(Excuse the interruption)—clings
       Half-savage-like around your hat?
She.        Ah, do they please you? Wild-bird-wings!
       Next season,—Paris-prints assert,—
       We must go feathered to the skirt:
       My modiste keeps on the alert.
       Owls, hawks, jays—swallows most approve.
He.        Dare I speak plainly?
She.                                    Oh, I trust!
He. Then, Lady Blanche, it less would move
           In heart and soul of me disgust
       Did you strip off those spoils you wear,
       And stand—for thanks, not shillings—bare
       To help Art like my Model there.
       She well knew what absolved her—praise
           In me for God’s surpassing good,
       Who granted to my reverent gaze
           A type of purest womanhood.
       You—clothed with murder of his best
       Of harmless beings—stand the test!
       What is it you know?
She.                                    That you jest!
Other works by Robert Browning ...



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