Portrait by a Neighbor

"The Garden Wall" by John Singer Sargent, 1910

click to enlarge

Before she has her floor swept
Or her dishes done,
Any day you’ll find her
A-sunning in the sun!

It’s long after midnight
Her key’s in the lock,
And you never see her chimney smoke
Till past ten o’clock!

She digs in her garden
With a shovel and a spoon,
She weeds her lazy lettuce
By the light of the moon,

She walks up the walk
Like a woman in a dream,
She forgets she borrowed butter
And pays you back cream!

Her lawn looks like a meadow,
And if she mows the place
She leaves the clover standing
And the Queen Anne’s lace!

Selection from A Few Figs From Thistles. NEW YORK: F. SHAY, 1920 | Source: Project Gutenberg.
Painting: “The Garden Wall” by John Singer Sargent, 1910