You say, as one who shapes a life,
That you will never be a wife,
And, laughing lightly, ask my aid
To paint your future as a maid.
This is the portrait; and I take
The softest colors for your sake:
The springtime of your soul is dead,
And forty years have bent your head;
The lines are firmer round your mouth,
But still its smile is like the South.
Your eyes, grown deeper, are not sad,
Yet never more than gravely glad;
And the old charm still lurks within