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Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

No Lilies For Lisette


Said the Door: "She came in
With no shadow of sin;
Turned the key in the lock,
Slipped out of her frock,
The robe she liked best
When for supper she dressed.
Then a letter she tore . . .
What a wan look she wore!"
Said the Door.

Said the Chair: "She sat down
With a pitiful frown,
And then (oh, it's queer)
Just one lonely tear
Rolled down her pale cheek.
How I hoped she would speak
As she let down her hair,"
Said the Chair.

Said the Glass: "Then she gazed
Into me like one dazed;
As with delicate grace
She made up her face,
Her cheeks and her lips
With rose finger-tips,
So lovely - alas!
Then she turned on the gas."
Said the Glass.

Said the Bed: "Down she lay
In a weariful way,
Like an innocent child,
To her fate reconciled;
Hands clasped to her breast,
In prayer or in rest:
'Dear Mother,' she said,
Then pillowed her head,"
Said the Bed.

Said the Room: "Then the gleam
Of the moon like a dream,
Soft silvered my space,
And it fell on her face
That was never so sweet
As her heart ceased to beat . . .
Then the moon fled and gloom
Fell like funeral plume,"
Said the Room.

"Just a whore,"
Said the Door;
"Yet so fair,"
Said the Chair;
"Frail, alas!"
Said the Glass;
"Now she's dead,"
Said the Bed;
"Sorry doom,"
Said the Room. . . .

Then they all,
Floor and wall,
Quiet grew,
Ceiling too;
Like a tomb
Was the room;
With hushed breath
Hailing Death:
Soul's release,
Silence, Peace.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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