poet Henry Cuyler Bunner

Henry Cuyler Bunner

The Chaperon

I take my chaperon to the play--
She thinks she's taking me.
And the gilded youth who owns the box,
A proud young man is he;
But how would his young heart be hurt
If he could only know
That not for his sweet sake I go
Nor yet to see the triffling show;
But to see my chaperon flirt.

Her eyes beneath her snowy hair
They sparkle young as mine;
There's scarce a wrinkle in her hand
So delicate and fine.
And when my chaperon is seen,
They come from everywhere--
The dear old boys with silver hair,
With old-time grace and old-time air,
To greet their old-time queen.

They bow as my young Midas here
Will never learn to bow
(The dancing-masters do not teach
That gracious reverence now);
With voices quivering just a bit,
They play their old parts through,
They talk of folk who used to woo,
Of hearts that broke in 'fifty-two--
Now none the worse for it.

And as those aged crickets chirp,
I watch my chaperon's face,
And see the dear old features take
A new and tender grace;
And in her happy eyes I see
Her youth awakening bright,
With all its hope, desire, delight--
Ah, me! I wish that I were quite
As young--as young as she!

Poem Submitted: Saturday, September 4, 2010

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