Here's a sampling of a few lines by my new favorite poet, Dorothy Parker.
I'm wearied of wearying love, my friend,
Of worry and strain and doubt;
Before we begin, let us view the end,
And maybe I'll do without.
There's never the pang that was worth the tear,
And toss in the night I won't--
So either you do or you don't, my dear,
Either you do or you don't!
The table is ready, so lay your cards
And if they should augur pain,
I'll tender you ever my kind regards
And run for the fastest train.
I haven't the will to be spent and sad;
My heart's to be gay and true--
Then either you don't or you do, my lad,
Either you don't or you do!
The Lady's Reward
Lady, lady, never start
Conversation toward you heart;
Keep you pretty words serene;
Never murmur what you mean.
Show yourself, by word and look,
Swift and shallow as a brook.
Be as cool and quick to go
As a drop of April snow;
Be as delicate and gay
As a cherry flower in May.
Lady, lady, never speak
Of the tears that burn your cheek--
She will never win him, whose
Words had shown she feared to lose.
Be you wise and never sad,
You will get your lovely lad.
Never serious be, nor true,
And your wish will come to you--
And if that makes you happy, kid,
You'll be there first it ever did.
Lilacs blossom just as sweet
Now my heart is shattered.
If I bowled it down the street,
Who's to say it mattered?
If there's one that rode away
What would I be missing?
Lips that taste of tears, they say,
Are the best for kissing.
Eyes that watch the morning star
Seem a little brighter;
Arms held out to darkness are
Shall I bar the strolling guest,
Bind my brow with willow.
When they say, the empty breast
Is the softer pillow?
That a heart falls tinkling down.
Never think it ceases.
Every likely lad in town
Gathers up the pieces.
If there's one gone whistling by
Would I let it grieve me?
Let him wonder if I lie;
Let him half believe me.
He'd have given me rolling lands,
Houses of marble, and billowing farms,
Pearls, to trickle between my hands,
Smoldering rubies, to circle my arms.
You--you'd only a lilting song,
Only a melody, happy and high,
You were sudden and swift and strong--
Never a thought for another had I.
He'd have given me laces rare,
Dresses that glimmered with frosty sheen,
Shining ribbons to wrap my hair,
Horses to draw me, as fine as a queen.
You-- you'd only to whistle low,
Gayly I followed wherever you led.
I took you, and I let him go--
Somebody ought to examine my head!