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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Eva L. Ogden

The Sea

SHE was rich and of high degree;

A poor and unknown artist he.

“Paint me,” she said, “a view of the sea.”

So he painted the sea as it looked the day

That Aphrodite arose from its spray;

And it broke, as she gazed on its face the while,

Into its countless-dimpled smile.

“What a poky, stupid picture!” said she:

“I don’t believe he can paint the sea!”

Then he painted a raging, tossing sea,

Storming, with fierce and sudden shock,

A towering, mighty fastness-rock;—

In its sides, above those leaping crests,

The thronging sea-birds built their nests.

“What a disagreeable daub!” said she:

“Why, it isn’t anything like the sea!”

Then he painted a stretch of hot brown sand,

With a big hotel on either hand,

And a handsome pavilion for the band;—

Not a sign of water to be seen,

Except one faint little streak of green.

“What a perfectly exquisite picture!” said she:

“It’s the very image of the sea!”