Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
1230. The Chaperon
 
By Henry Cuyler Bunner
 
 
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        5
    If he could only know
    That not for his sweet sake I go
    Nor yet to see the trifling show;
But to see my chaperon flirt.
 
Her eyes beneath her snowy hair        10
    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—        15
    The dear old boys with silvery 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        20
(The dancing-masters do not teach
    That gracious reverence now);
With voices quavering just a bit,
    They play their old parts through,
    They talk of folk who used to woo,        25
    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        30
    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        35
As young—as young as she!
 

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