AM FASHION'S TOY--
LINES WRITTEN UPON SEEING A FASHIONABLY-DRESSED
LADY ASK A SERVANT FOR
A FEW BLADES OF GRASS,
WHICH SHE PLACED UPON HER BOSOM
give to me of the bright green leaves,
For they tell me of the past;
When I roved at will mid the golden sheaves-
And my heart it wildly, madly grieves,
And it throbs so painfully fast,
As I think of the days of peace and joy
That forever are gone-I am fashion's toy.
Yes, the modeste decks my raven hair,
In many a shape and coil-
And she dyes my cheek with the carmine rare,
And she makes my brow as the lily fair,
And they tell me, for beauty I can compare
With the daughters of eastern soil;
Yet, I sigh when I smile in my empty joy,
For I know, alas! I am fashion's toy.
My form is stately, and full of pride-
And the high of the land linger near my side,
Yet as they fawning bow,
My heart flows back on sweet memory's tide,
And I forget they are near my side,
And the past seems to me now.
Then I dream of the sweets that could not cloy,
For a moment forget, I am fashion's toy.
Yes, this grass reminds me of long past hours,
When in the woodland glen
I revelled 'mid song and birds and flowers,
And formed, with the evergreen, fairy bowers.
Ah! I was not lonely then;
For he was with me, my pride, my joy-
He is dead to me now, I am fashion's toy.
Ah! the hearts and the diamonds that lie at my feet-
Hearts are all hollow, and diamonds a cheat,
Yet I cannot cast them away;
I need much wealth for my life of deceit-
Yes, I need it every day.
I must give to the poor, for that bliss doesn't cloy;
'Tis my only relief-I am fashion's toy.
And is there no end to this empty life;
To this life of lip-smiles and a soul at strife?
Must it ever, ever last?
Shall I look through the vista dim of years,
And see there naught but grief, sin, and tears?
Ah! those blades of grass for a moment brief,
O'erflood my soul with a sweet relief,
And I live in the happy past.
In my dreams, I again am a maiden coy,
And I live o'er my life of love and joy-
Now, the dream is past. I am fashion's toy.