When the sklll'd fashioner of female faces Designed your mask, he wrought with cunning fist, And made a mouth expressly to be kiss'd - Not for shrill utterance nor pert grimaces.
The curved, ripe lips-above the rounded chin - He dyed the hue of summer's reddest rose, Then placed a smile upon them to disclose A glimpse of white and even pearls within.
Those lips are silent, sweetheart! - but your eyes Are eloquent, and they love's lesson teach Better than other woman's aptest speech - In their soft light the tend'rest language lies.
In womankind - the world has long confess'd - A silent mouth and speaking eyes are best.
First published in The Bulletin, 30 September 1893.