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Wilfrid Scawen Blunt (1840-1922)

On Her Vanity


              1What are these things thou lovest? Vanity.
              2To see men turn their heads when thou dost pass;
              3To be the signboard and the looking-glass
              4Where every idler there may glut his eye;
              5To hear men speak thy name mysteriously,
              6Wagging their heads. Is it for this, alas,
              7That thou hast made a placard of a face
              8On which the tears of love were hardly dry?
              9What are these things thou lovest? The applause
            10Of prostitutes at wit which is not thine:
            11The sympathy of shop-boys who would weep
            12Their shilling's worth of woe in any cause,
            13At any tragedy. -- Their tears and mine,
            14What difference? Oh truly tears are cheap!


Online text copyright © 2005, 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: Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, "Part I. Manon. VII. On Her Vanity" (The Love Sonnets of Proteus), Poems (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1923): 40. PR 4149 B8A17
First publication date: 1881
Publication date note: The Love Songs of Proteus (London: Kegan Paul, 1881): 8. PR 4149 B8L6 1881 Robarts Library
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2005
Recent editing: 1:2005/2/17

Form: sonnet
Rhyme: abbaabbacdecde


Other poems by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt