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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

A Countrywoman of Mine

By Elaine Goodale Eastman (1863–1953)

HANDSOME? I hardly know. Her profile’s fine—

Delightful, intellectual, aquiline.

Her keen eyes light it; keen, yet often kind;

Her fair hair crowns it to an artist’s mind.

Fine figure and fine manners, without doubt,

Determine half her charm, and bear me out.

Learned? Well, rather. See them for yourself—

Mill, Spencer, Darwin, on her favorite shelf.

Well educated, certainly well read;

Well born, of course, and (not of course) well bred.

Provincial? Never! Cockney? Not at all.

Her world is small enough, yet not too small.

To prove she knows it, only watch a while

That humorous, tender, half-sarcastic smile.

Accomplished? She says not; but who can tell?

She does some simple things, and does them well.

She walks well, stands well, sits well—things so rare,

To praise as they deserve I hardly dare!

She rows, rides, dances—admirably done!

Delights in each, and yet depends on none.

What to take up she knows, and what to drop;

How to say clever things, and when to stop.

Few dress so well; she does what few can do,

Forgets what she has on; and so do you?

She’s not too careless, not conventional quite;

Does what she likes; knows what she does is right.

Takes New World freedom and with Old World ease;

She’s but to please herself the world to please.