Verse > Anthologies > Fuess and Stearns, eds. > The Little Book of Society Verse
Fuess and Stearns, comps.  The Little Book of Society Verse.  1922.
A Rhyme for Priscilla
By Frank Dempster Sherman
DEAR PRISCILLA, quaint and very
  Like a modern Puritan,
Is a modest, literary,
  Merry young American:
Horace she has read, and Bion        5
  Is her favorite in Greek;
Shakespeare is a mighty lion
  In whose den she dares but peek;
Him she leaves to some sage Daniel,
  Since of Lions she’s afraid,—        10
She prefers a playful spaniel,
  Such as Herrick or as Praed;
And it’s not a bit satiric
  To confess her fancy goes
From the epic to a lyric        15
  On a rose.
Wise Priscilla, dilettante,
  With a sentimental mind,
Does n’t deign to dip in Dante,
  And to Milton is n’t kind;        20
L’Allegro, Il Penseroso
  Have some merits she will grant,
All the rest is only so-so,—
  Enter Paradise she can’t!
She might make a charming angel        25
  (And she will if she is good),
But it’s doubtful if the change’ll
  Make the Epic understood:
Honey-suckling, like a bee she
  Goes and pillages his sweets,        30
And it’s plain enough to see she
  Worships Keats.
Gay Priscilla,—just the person
  For the Locker whom she loves;
What a captivating verse on        35
  Her neat-fitting gowns or gloves
He could write in catching measure,
  Setting all the heart astir!
And to Aldrich what a pleasure
  It would be to sing of her,—        40
He, whose perfect songs have won her
  Lips to quote them day by day.
She repeats the rhymes of Bunner
  In a fascinating way,
And you’ll often find her lost in—        45
  She has reveries at times—
Some delightful one of Austin
  Dobson’s rhymes.
O Priscilla, sweet Priscilla,
  Writing of you makes me think,        50
As I burn my brown Manila
  And immortalize my ink,
How well satisfied these poets
  Ought to be with what they do
When, especially, they know it’s        55
  Read by such a girl as you:
I who sing of you would marry
  Just the kind of girl you are,—
One who does n’t care to carry
  Her poetic taste too far,—        60
One whose fancy is a bright one,
  Who is fond of poems fine,
And appreciates a light one
  Such as mine.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.