Nonfiction > Lionel Strachey, et al., eds. > The World’s Wit and Humor > American
The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes.  1906.
Vols. I–V: American
In Parenthesis
By Frank Dempster Sherman (1860–1916)
From “Madrigals and Catches”

I READ the verses from my copy,
  A bunch of fancies culled from Keats,
A rime of rose and drowsy poppy,
  Of maiden, song, and other sweets:
The lines—so patiently I penned them,        5
  Without one sable blot or blur—
I knew had music to commend them
  And all their secret thoughts to her.
She heard the rhythmical romanza,
  And made a comment there and here;        10
I read on to the final stanza,
  Where timid love had made me fear.
A long parenthesis; the meter
  Went lamely on without a foot,
Because the sentiment was sweeter        15
  Than love emboldened me to put.
Alas, I tried to fill the bracket;
  The truant thought refused to come!
The point—to think the rime should lack it!
  My wakeful conscience struck me dumb.        20
She took the little leaf a minute—
  Ah, what a happy time was this!
The bracket soon had something in it—
  I kissed her in parenthesis.

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