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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

John Godfrey Saxe (1816–1887)

The Coquette

A Portrait

“YOU’RE clever at drawing, I own,”

Said my beautiful cousin Lisette,

As we sat by the window alone,

“But say, can you paint a Coquette?”

“She’s painted already,” quoth I;

“Nay, nay!” said the laughing Lisette,

“Now none of your joking—but try

And paint me a thorough Coquette.”

“Well, Cousin,” at once I began

In the ear of the eager Lisette,

“I’ll paint you as well as I can,

That wonderful thing, a Coquette.

“She wears a most beautiful face”

(“Of course,” said the pretty Lisette),

“And isn’t deficient in grace,

Or else she were not a Coquette.

“And then she is daintily made”

(A smile from the dainty Lisette)

“By people expert in the trade

Of forming a proper Coquette.

“She’s the winningest ways with the beaux”

(“Go on!” said the winning Lisette),

“But there isn’t a man of them knows

The mind of the fickle Coquette!

“She knows how to weep and to sigh”

(A sigh from the tender Lisette),

“But her weeping is all in my eye—

Not that of the cunning Coquette!

“In short, she’s a creature of art”

(“Oh hush!” said the frowning Lisette),

“With merely the ghost of a heart—

Enough for a thorough Coquette.

“And yet I could easily prove”

(“Now don’t!” said the angry Lisette),

“The lady is always in love—

In love with herself—the Coquette!

“There—do not be angry—you know,

My dear little cousin Lisette,

You told me a moment ago,

To paint you—a thorough Coquette!”