George Pope Morris

(1802-1864 / USA)

The Dismissed.


The wing of my spirit is broken,
My day-star of hope has declined;
For a month not a word have I spoken
That's either polite or refined.
My mind's like the sky in bad weather,
When mist-clouds around us are curled:
And, viewing myself altogether,
I'm the veriest wretch in the world!

I wander about like a vagrant--
I spend half my time in the street;
My conduct's improper and flagrant,
For I quarrel with all that I meet.
My dress, too, is wholly neglected,
My hat I pull over my brow,
And I look like a fellow suspected
Of wishing to kick up a row.

In vain I've endeavored to borrow
From friends 'some material aid'--
For my landlady views me with sorrow,
When she thinks of the bill that's unpaid.
Abroad my acquaintances flout me,
The ladies cry, 'Bless us, look there!'
And the little boys cluster about me,
And sensible citizens stare.

One says, 'He's a victim to cupid;'
Another, 'His conduct's too bad;'
A third, 'He is awfully stupid;'
A fourth, 'He is perfectly mad!'--
And then I am watched like a bandit,
Mankind with me all are at strife:
By heaven no longer I'll stand it,
But quick put an end to my life!

I've thought of the means--yet I shudder
At dagger or ratsbane or rope;
At drawing with lancet my blood, or
At razor without any soap!
Suppose I should fall in a duel,
And thus leave the stage with ECLAT?
But to die with a bullet is cruel--
Besides 'twould be breaking the law!

Yet one way remains: to the river
I'll fly from the goadings of care!--
But drown?--oh, the thought makes me shiver--
A terrible death, I declare!
Ah, no!--I'll once more see my Kitty,
And parry her cruel disdain--
Beseech her to take me in pity,
And never dismiss me again.

Submitted: Wednesday, October 06, 2010

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