Verse > Anthologies > Fuess and Stearns, eds. > The Little Book of Society Verse
Fuess and Stearns, comps.  The Little Book of Society Verse.  1922.
Ballade of the Devil-May-Care
By Gelett Burgess
FREE as the wandering pike am I,
  Many the strings to my amorous bow,
More than a little inclined to fly
  Butterfly lovering, to and fro;
  Happy wherever the flowers blow,        5
With the dew on the leaf, and the sunshine above.
  Terribly wrong and unprincipled? No,
Life is too short to be “dead in love!”
Not for me is the lover’s sigh;
  Fools are they, to be worrying so!        10
Sipping my fill of the honey I fly
  Butterfly lovering, to and fro.
  I skim the cream, and let all else go;
Gather my roses, and give a shove
  Over my shoulder at dutiful woe,—        15
Life is too short to be “dead in love!”
So, while the fanciful hours go by,
  I gaily reap what the simpletons sow.
Fresh with their bloom are the fruits I try,
  Butterfly lovering, to and fro.        20
  Then here’s to the lady who wears her beau
On and off, like a dainty glove!
  And here’s to the zephyrs that all-ways blow—
Life is too short to be “dead in love!”
Prince, who cares for the coming snow,
Butterfly lovering, to and fro?
Why should a man be a turtle-dove?
Life is too short to be “dead in love!”

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