A Certain Lady – Dorothy Parker

Oh, I can smile for you, and tilt my head,

 And drink your rushing words with eager lips, 

And paint my mouth for you a fragrant red, 

And trace your brows with tutored finger-tips. 

When you rehearse your list of loves to me, 

Oh, I can laugh and marvel, rapturous-eyed. 

And you laugh back, nor can you ever see 

The thousand little deaths my heart has died. 

And you believe, so well I know my part, 

That I am gay as morning, light as snow, 

And all the straining things within my heart 

You’ll never know. 
Oh, I can laugh and listen, when we meet, 

And you bring tales of fresh adventurings, — 

Of ladies delicately indiscreet, 

Of lingering hands, and gently whispered things. 

And you are pleased with me, and strive anew 

To sing me sagas of your late delights. 

Thus do you want me — marveling, gay, and true, 

Nor do you see my staring eyes of nights. 

And when, in search of novelty, you stray, 

Oh, I can kiss you blithely as you go …. 

And what goes on, my love, while you’re away, 

You’ll never know. 

A Dream Lies Dead – Dorothy Parker

A dream lies dead here. May you softly go

Before this place, and turn away your eyes, 

Nor seek to know the look of that which dies 

Importuning Life for life. Walk not in woe, 

But, for a little, let your step be slow. 

And, of your mercy, be not sweetly wise 

With words of hope and Spring and tenderer skies. 

A dream lies dead; and this all mourners know: 
Whenever one drifted petal leaves the tree- 

Though white of bloom as it had been before 

And proudly waitful of fecundity- 

One little loveliness can be no more; 

And so must Beauty bow her imperfect head 

Because a dream has joined the wistful dead!