WHO was there had seen us
         Wouldn’t bid him run?
Heavy lay between us
    All our sires had done.

There he was, a-springing,
    Of a pious race—
Setting hags a-swinging,
     In a market-place;

Sowing turnips over
     Where the poppies lay;
Looking past the clover,
      Adding up the hay;

Shouting through the Spring song,
      Clumping down the sod;
Toadying, in sing-song
      To a crabbèd god.

There I was, that came of
      Folk of mud and flame—
I that had my name of
      Them without a name.

Up and down a mountain
      Streeled my silly stock;
Passing by a fountain,
      Wringing at a rock;

Devil-gotten sinners,
      Throwing back their heads;
Fiddling for their dinners,
      Kissing for their beds.

Not a one had seen us
      Wouldn’t help him flee.
Angry ran between us
      Blood of him and me.

How shall I be mating
      Who have looked above—
Living for a hating,
      Dying of a love?



From Enough Rope (Boni & Liveright, 1926) by Dorothy Parker. This poem is in the public domain.