"THOU has asked me for my portrait,

But I will not grant thy prayer.

I'm not worthy of thine easel;

I am neither great nor fair," -

Said a poet to a painter

In the dreamy days of old,

When the substance of my story

By a better tongue was told.

But the painter urged his comrade

That he should present his face

In the hall, amidst the portraits

Of his old and noble race.

And at last the friend's entreaty

Brought the much-desired permit;

But a strange, unholy message

Were the words he spake; to wit: -