Dorothy Parker (1893-1967)
Ballade at Thirty-five
1This, no song of an ingénue,
2 This, no ballad of innocence;
3This, the rhyme of a lady who
4 Followed ever her natural bents.
5 This, a solo of sapience,
6This, a chantey of sophistry,
7 This, the sum of experiments, --
8I loved them until they loved me.
9Decked in garments of sable hue,
10 Daubed with ashes of myriad Lents,
11Wearing shower bouquets of rue,
12 Walk I ever in penitence.
13 Oft I roam, as my heart repents,
14Through God's acre of memory,
15 Marking stones, in my reverence,
16"I loved them until they loved me."
17Pictures pass me in long review,--
18 Marching columns of dead events.
19I was tender, and, often, true;
20 Ever a prey to coincidence.
21 Always knew I the consequence;
22Always saw what the end would be.
23 We're as Nature has made us -- hence
24I loved them until they loved me.
25Princes, never I'd give offense,
26 Won't you think of me tenderly?
27Here's my strength and my weakness, gents, --
28 I loved them until they loved me.
Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department
of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services,
University of Toronto Libraries.
Original text: Enough Rope: Poems by Dorothy Parker (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1926): 74. PS 3531 A5855E5 Robarts Library
First publication date:
Publication date note: Life (June 26, 1924): 12
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1999.
Recent editing: 2:2002/3/6
Other poems by Dorothy Parker