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Poem by Henry Cuyler Bunner


In a Paris Restaurant


I gaze, while thrills my heart with patriot pride,
Upon the exquisite skin, rose-flushed and creamy;
The perfect little head; on either side
Blonde waves. The dark eyes, vaguely soft and dreamy,
Hold for a space my judgment in eclipse,
Until, with half a pout, supremely dainty,
Hes red mean slips from out the strawberry lips
Oh, aint he!

This at her escort, youthful, black-moustached
And diamond-studdedthis reproof; whereat he
Is not to any great extent abashed.
(That youths from Noo Orleens or Cincinnatty,
Im sure.) But shethose dark eyes doubtful strike
Her sherbet-ice. . . Wont touch it. . . Is induced to.
Result: Id sooner eat Mince-Pie, Jim, like
We used to.

While then my too-soon-smitten soul recants,
I hear her friend discoursing with much feeling
Of tailors, and a garment he calls pants.
I note into her eyes a softness stealing
A shade of thought upon her low, sweet brow
She hears him notI swear, I could have cried here
The escort nudges hershe starts, and How?
The idear!

This was the finishing and final touch.
I rose, and took no further observation.
I love my country just about as much
I have for it as high a veneration
As a man whose fathers fought for liberty,
Whose veins conduct the blood of Commodore Perry, can.
But she was quite too very awfully
American.



Henry Cuyler Bunner


Henry Cuyler Bunner's other poems:
  1. The Future of the Classics
  2. Just a Love Letter
  3. Shriven
  4. Candor
  5. The Chaperon


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