Cicely Fox Smith

(1 February 1882 – 8 April 1954 / Lymm, Cheshire)

The Misanthrope - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

I think some spiteful fairy
My natal day did grace
And leave me for a dowry
A sympathetic face.

Or why do people tell me,
When as by train I go,
The things I do not ask them
And do not care to know?

They tell me of their troubles,
They tell me of their mirth,
Of funerals and of feastings,
Of marriage and birth.

They speak about their in-laws
And cousins twice removed,
And disagreeable neighbours
And loves inconstant proved -

Smart quips of loathsome children
I only yearn to smack,
And what is in the parcels
They balance on the rack.

Their lives’ most secret moment
From me are seldom hid -
The men they might have married,
The wretched wights they did.

They talk about diseases
And will not be denied,
And what they take to cure them
And how they feel inside;

Or leaving mundane matters
For themes more strange and high,
How millions now living
Will never need tot die. . . .

And large and stout the volume
That yet would scarce contain
The things that total strangers
Have told me in the train.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010

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