Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, YES?, by HENRY CUYLER BUNNER



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First Line: Is it true, then, my girl? Did you mean it?
Last Line: Love, don't give me up.
Subject(s): Love


Is it true, then, my girl? did you mean it --
The word spoken yesterday night?
Does that hour seem so sweet now between it
And this has come day's sober light?
Have you woke from a moment of rapture
To remember, regret. and repent,
And to hate, perchance, him who has trapped your
Unthinking consent?

Who was he, last evening -- this fellow
Whose audacity lent him a charm?
Have you promised to wed Punchinello?
For life taken Figaro's arm?
Will you have the Court fool of the papers,
The clown in the journalist's ring,
Who earns his scant bread by his capers,
To be your heat's king?

A Modoc -- a Malay -- a Kaffir
("Bohemian" puts it too mild);
By profession a poor paragrapher,
Light Laughter's unrecognized child;
At the best but a Brummagem poet,
Inspired of tobacco and beer,
Altogether off color -- I know it;
I'm all that, my dear.

When we met quite by chance at the theatre,
And I saw you home under the moon,
I'd no thought, love, that mischief would be at her
Tricks with my tongue quite so soon;
That I should forget fate and fortune,
Make a difference 'twixt Sevres and delf;
That I'd have the calm nerve to importune
You, sweet, for yourself.

It's appalling, by Jove, the audacious
Effrontery of that request!
But you -- you grew suddenly gracious,
And hid your sweet face on my breast.
Why you did it I cannot conjecture;
I surprised you, poor child, I dare say,
Or perhaps -- does the moonlight affect your
Head often that way?

It was glorious for me, but what pleasure
Could you find in such wooing as this?
Were my arms not too ursine in pressure,
Was no flavor of clove in my kiss?
Ah, your lips I profaned when I made with
Their dainty divinity free, --
Twin loves never meant to be played with
By fellows like me.
. . . . . .
You're released! With some wooer replace me
More worthy to be your life's light;
From the tablet of memory efface me,
If you don't mean your "yes" of last night.
But unless you are anxious to see me a
Wreck of the pipe and the cup
In my birthplace and graveyard, Bohemia --
Love, don't give me up.





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