For an Unknown Lady
Lady, if you'd slumber sound,
Keep your eyes upon the ground.
If you'd toss and turn at night,
Slip your glances left and right.
Would the mornings find you gay,
Never give your heart away.
Would they find you pale and sad,
Fling it to a whistling lad.
Ah, but when his pleadings burn,
Will you let my words return?
Will you lock your pretty lips,
And deny your finger-tips,
Veil away your tender eyes,
Just because some words were wise?
If he whistles low and clear
When the insistent moon is near
And the secret stars are known,—
Will your heart be still your own
Just because some words were true?...
Lady, I was told them, too!
From Enough Rope (Boni & Liveright, 1926) by Dorothy Parker. This poem is in the public domain.