Verse > Anthologies > Fuess and Stearns, eds. > The Little Book of Society Verse
Fuess and Stearns, comps.  The Little Book of Society Verse.  1922.
Da Capo
By Henry Cuyler Bunner
SHORT and sweet, and we’ve come to the end of it—
  Our poor little love lying cold.
Shall no sonnet, then, ever be penned of it?
  Nor the joys and pains of it told?
How fair was its face in the morning,        5
  How close its caresses at noon,
How its evening grew chill without warning,
      Unpleasantly soon!
I can’t say just how we began it—
  In a blush, or a smile, or a sigh;        10
Fate took but an instant to plan it;
  It needs but a moment to die.
Yet—we remember the first conversation,
  When the flowers you had dropped at your feet
I restored. The familiar quotation        15
      Was—“Sweets to the sweet.”
Oh, their delicate perfume has haunted
  My senses a whole season through.
If there was one soft charm that you wanted
  The violets lent it to you.        20
I whispered you, life was but lonely:
  A cue which you graciously took;
And your eyes learned a look for me only—
      A very nice look.
And sometimes your hand would touch my hand,        25
  With a sweetly particular touch;
You said many things in a sigh, and
  Made a look express wondrously much.
We smiled for the mere sake of smiling,
  And laughed for no reason but fun;        30
Irrational joys; but beguiling—
      And all that is done!
We were idle, and played for a moment
  At a game that now neither will press:
I cared not to find out what “No” meant;        35
  Nor your lips to grow yielding with “Yes.”
Love is done with and dead; if there lingers
  A faint and indefinite ghost,
It is laid with this kiss on your fingers—
      A jest at the most.        40
’T is a commonplace, stale situation,
  Now the curtain comes down from above
On the end of our little flirtation—
  A travesty romance; for Love,
If he climbed in disguise to your lattice,        45
  Fell dead of the first kisses’ pain:
But one thing is left us now; that is—
      Begin it again.

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