by Edgar Holt
Lady of elusive smile,
patched and powdered portraiture,
were you always free from guile
before you were a miniature?
Were you Chloe to a Daphnis1
in an Arcady of France?
Did you see from starlit lattice
eyes that flashed an ardent glance?
Did you leave your wigs and patches,
minuet and Watteau graces,
stealing out from lifted latches
to a garden's hidden places?
In the night you found a lover,
moonlight paled your lifted mouth,
tall trees dreaming made a cover
for a passion of the south.
Lady of the Powdered Days,
innocent in portraiture,
once you knew a woman's ways
before you were a miniature.
Edgar Holt (1932)
1- Daphnis was the experienced but sometimes reluctant suitor of Chloe in the second century Greek romance Daphnis and Chloe.