Here you will find the Poem A Parlourmaid of poet Lesbia Harford
'I want a parlourmaid.' 'Well, let me see If you were God, what kind of maid she'd be.' 'She would be tall, She would be fair, She would have slender limbs, A delicate air; And yet for all her beauty She would walk Among my guests unseen And through their talk Her voice would be the sweet voice of a bird, Not listened to, though heard.' 'And now I know the girl you have in mind Tell me her duties, if you'd be so kind.' 'Why, yes! She must know names of wines And never taste them? Must handle fragile cups And never break them? Must fill my rooms with flowers And never wear them? Must serve my daughter's secrets And not share them.' 'Madam, you are no God, that's plain to see. I'll just repeat what you have said to me. You say your maid must look in Helen fashion Golden and white And yet her loveliness inspire no passion, Give no delight. Your intimate goods of home must owe their beauty To this girl's care But she'll not overstep her path of duty Nor seek to share Through loving or enjoying or possessing The least of them. Why, she's not human, by your own confessing, And you condemn Your rational self in every word you're speaking! Please understand You'll find the hollow maiden you are seeking In fairyland.'