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A continuing selection of classic and contemporary poems.

The Lady’s Reward

Dorothy Parker

Lady, lady, never start
Conversation toward your heart;
Keep your pretty words serene;
Never murmur what you mean.
Show yourself, by word and look,
Swift and shallow as a brook.
Be as cool and quick to go
As a drop of April snow;
Be as delicate and gay
As a cherry flower in May.
Lady, lady, never speak
Of the tears that burn your cheek—
She will never win him, whose
Words had shown she feared to lose.
Be you wise and never sad,
You will get your lovely lad.
Never serious be, nor true,
And your wish will come to you—
And if that makes you happy, kid,
You’ll be the first it ever did.
Online text © 1998-2017 Poetry X. All rights reserved.
From Death and Taxes | Written c. 1931
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