Verse > Anthologies > Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. > Yale Book of American Verse
Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. (1838–1915). Yale Book of American Verse.  1912.
Henry Cuyler Bunner. 1855–1896
238. 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         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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