It is a wonder, is it not? Despite the moonshine gab
And clever chat of ladies and of gentlemen,
Despite the (so horrid!) risk of falling seven stories
From Society to hells of female ruin,
Despite the plots of rakes cock-sure in camblet and brocade
With gloves the perfect shade of springtime buttercups,
Despite bad harpsichords and awful crocheted reticules,
Despite a trollop child, despite a dried old maid,
Despite the secret by-blows, cads, and cobbled-up marriages,
Despite all barriers of elder silliness,
Now and then a lady and a gentleman are one,
As a slender leaf, say, and a flower are one.
Photo by R. B. Miller (2016)
Marly Youmans is the author of thirteen books of poetry and fiction. Her recent books of poetry include Thaliad and The Throne of Psyche. Recent novels are Maze of Blood, Glimmerglass, and A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage.