A Frijoles Washer Girl

By James Stanley Gilbert

 

A dream in living bronze is she,

A dusky goddess full revealed;

Clad but in Nature's modestyŚ

Her wondrous beauty unconcealed.

 

Half to her knee, the rushing stream

An instant pauses on its way;

The ripples in the sunshine gleam,

And tiny rainbows round her play.

 

Lithe as the bamboo growing near

Within the tangled, tropic glade;

As graceful as the startled deer

Half hidden in the distant shade.

 

The limbs, the hips, the swelling bust

Of famed Olympus' fairest queen,

Ne'er modelled yet on lines more just

Was ever sculptured marble seen!

 

Her curl-fringed eyes, now black, now brown,

Are depths of passion unexplored;

Her teeth, a glistening, pearly crown

A Rajah would delight to hoard.

 

A dream, a dream in bronze is she,

A dusky goddess full revealed;

Clad but in Nature's modestyŚ

Her wondrous beauty unconcealed.

 

The casual dress among Panama's natives was evidently popular among American men of the Victorian era, as many turn-of-the-century postcards focus on ordinary fashions well-suited for tropical heat, high humidity and immersion in rivers.