Richard Le Gallienne

(1866-1947 / England)

Paris Day By Day: A Family Epistle


(TO MRS. HENRY HARLAND)

Paris, half Angel, half Grisette,
I would that I were with thee yet,
Where the long boulevard at even
Stretches its starry lamps to heaven,
And whispers from a thousand trees
Vague hints of the Hesperides.

Once more, once more, my heart, to sit
With Aline's smile and Harry's wit,
To sit and sip the cloudy green,
With dreamy hints of speech between;

Or, may be, flashing all intent
At call of some stern argument,
When the New Woman fain would be,
Like the Old Male, her husband, free.
The prose-man takes his mighty lyre
And talks like music set on fire!

The while the merry crowd slips by
Glittering and glancing to the eye,
All happy lovers on their way
To make a golden end of day--
Ah! Cafe truly called _La Paix_!

Or at the _pension_ I would be
With Transatlantic maidens three,
The same, I vow, who once of old
Guarded with song the trees of gold.

O Lady, lady, _Vis-a-Vis_,
When shall I cease to think of thee,
On whose fair head the Golden Fleece
Too soon, too soon, returns to Greece--
Oh, why to Athens e'er depart?
Come back, come back, and bring my heart!

And she whose gentle silver grace,
So wise of speech and kind of face,
Whose every wise and witty word
Fell shy, half blushing to be heard.

Last, but ah! surely not least dear,
That blithe and buxom buccaneer,
Th' avenging goddess of her sex,
Born the base soul of man to vex,
And wring from him those tears and sighs
Tortured from woman's heart and eyes.
Ah! fury, fascinating, fair--
When shall I cease to think of _her_!

Paris, half Angel, half Grisette,
I would that I were with thee yet,
But London waits me, like a wife,--
London, the love of my whole life.

Tell her not, Paris, mercy me!
How I have flirted, dear, with thee.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010

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