Ella Wheeler Wilcox

(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)

The Duet


I was smoking a cigarette;
Maud, my wife, and the tenor McKey
Were singing together a blithe duet,
And days it were better I should forget
Came suddenly back to me,
Days when life seemed a gay masque ball
And to love and be loved as the sum of it all.

As they sang together the whole scene fled,
The room’s rich hangings, the sweet home air,
Stately Maud, with her proud blonde head,
And I seemed to see in her place instead
A wealth of blue-black hair,
And a face, ah! your face, - yours, Lisette,
A face it were wiser I should forget.

We were back – well, no matter when or where,
But you remember, I know, Lisette,
I saw you, dainty, and debonnaire,
With the very same look you used to wear
In the days I should forget.
And your lips, as red as the vintage we quaffed,
Were pearl-edged bumpers of wine when you laughed.

Two small slippers with big rosettes
Peeped out under your kilt-skirt there,
While we sat smoking our cigarettes
(Oh, I shall be dust when my heart forgets!)
And singing that selfsame air;
And between the verses for interlude,
I kissed your throat, and your shoulders nude.

You were so full of a subtle fire,
You were so warm and so sweet, Lisette;
You were everything men admire,
And there were no fetters to make us tire;
For you were – a pretty grisette.
But you loved, as only such natures can,
With a love that makes heaven of hell for a man.
* * * *
They have ceased singing that old duet,
Stately Maud and the tenor McKey.
‘You are burning your coat with your cigarette,
And qu’avez-vous, dearest, your lids are wet, ’
Maud says, as she leans o’er me.
And I smile, and lie to her, husband-wise,
‘Oh, it is nothing but smoke in my eyes.’

Submitted: Friday, May 23, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: together, husband, remember, hair, smile, red, fire, heaven, home, kiss

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Duet by Ella Wheeler Wilcox )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

New Poems

  1. After Reading the Song of Hiawatha, Effie Waller Smith
  2. Two Things, Taurai, George Pfumbi
  3. I listened, I listened, I listened, arshad arshad
  4. Preparation, Effie Waller Smith
  5. News York City, Ima Ryma
  6. Always Money, Taurai, George Pfumbi
  7. Marbles and Stones, Krishna Shivkumar yadav
  8. I Will Not Say 'Ave', Trong Phan
  9. Magical Love, Taurai, George Pfumbi
  10. Postcard, Krishna Shivkumar yadav

Poem of the Day

poet Charles Stuart Calverley

He stood, a worn-out City clerk —
Who'd toil'd, and seen no holiday,
For forty years from dawn to dark —
Alone beside Caermarthen Bay.
...... Read complete »

   

Trending Poems

  1. On the Pulse of Morning, Maya Angelou
  2. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  3. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  4. You Will Forever Be In My Heart, Crystal Piatt
  5. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  6. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  7. Television, Roald Dahl
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  9. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  10. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]