The Trifler

DEATH’S the lover that I’d be taking;
      Wild and fickle and fierce is he.
Small’s his care if my heart be breaking—
   Gay young Death would have none of me.

Hear them clack of my haste to greet him!
   No one other my mouth had kissed.
I had dressed me in silk to meet him—
   False young Death would not hold the tryst.

Slow’s the blood that was quick and stormy,
   Smooth and cold is the bridal bed;
I must wait till he whistles for me—
   Proud young Death would not turn his head.

I must wait till my breast is wilted,
   I must wait till my back is bowed,
I must rock in the corner, jilted,—
   Death went galloping down the road.

Gone’s my heart with a trifling rover.
    Fine he was in the game he played—
Kissed, and promised, and threw me over,
    And rode away with a prettier maid.

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