Lady Lorgnette


Lady Lorgnette, of the lifted lash,
    The curling lip and the dainty nose,
The shell-like ear where the jewels flash,
    The arching brow and the languid pose,
The rare old lace and the subtle scents,
    The slender foot and the fingers frail,—
I may act till the world grows wild and tense,
    But never a flush on your features pale.
The footlights glimmer between us two,—
    You in the box and I on the boards,—
I am only an actor, Madame, to you,
    A mimic king 'mid his mimic lords,
For you are the belle of the smartest set,
    Lady Lorgnette.


Little Babette, with your eyes of jet,
     Your midnight hair and your piquant chin,
Your lips whose odors of violet
   Drive men to madness and saints to sin,—
I see you over the footlights' glare
    Down in the pit 'mid the common mob,—
Your throat is burning, and brown, and bare,
    You lean, and listen, and pulse, and throb;
The viols are dreaming between us two,
    And my gilded crown is no make-believe,
I am more than an actor, dear, to you,
    For you called me your king but yesterday eve,
And your heart is my golden coronet,
    Little Babette.

From Flint and Feather: The Complete Poems of E.Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake) (The Musson Book Co., Limited, 1917) by Emily Pauline Johnson. This poem is in the public domain.